Navigation Links
Low-Dose Platelet Transfusions Deemed Safe

Study finds no bleeding risk in practice that could stretch limited supplies,,,,

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A lower dose of platelets than is commonly used is safe for people who require transfusions of the clot-forming blood cells, a new study shows.

That's good news for people getting chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants because platelets are often in short supply, said Dr. Victor M. Aquino, a member of the research team whose findings are reported in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Frequent platelet transfusions -- once or even twice a day -- are needed for such patients because "chemotherapy damages the bone marrow and causes the body not to produce platelets," said Aquino, an associate professor in the pediatric hematology-oncology division at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center. "They need to be replaced to prevent bleeding."

The study included 1,272 people who had at least one platelet transfusion. They were divided into three groups, depending on the number of platelets in each transfusion. The high-dose group got the usual amount, roughly 10 trillion cells, and the low-dose group got half that number.

The researchers observed no significant difference in the amount of bleeding among the three groups, the report said.

"You can safely transfuse patients with about one-third the dosage of platelets we normally use," Aquino said.

More frequent transfusions were required for the low-dose group, "but you use fewer platelets in the long run," he said.

Another major finding was that it's safe to allow the blood platelet count to go lower than what is now regarded as the danger point, said study author Dr. Sherrill J. Slichter, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington and director of platelet transfusion research at the Puget Sound Blood Center.

Platelet transfusions are commonly given when blood levels drop below 10,000 cells per cubic millimeter of body-surface area. The study found no danger when platelet counts went as low as 5,000 per cubic millimeter. "As long as you have a morning platelet count of at least 5,000 or greater, the risk of bleeding is essentially the same," Slichter said.

The findings will almost certainly change clinical practice, Slichter and Aquino said. "In our patients, we now transfuse at the lower number," Aquino noted.

Reducing platelet usage would have a number of benefits, Slichter said. "It's an expensive product, and if you can use fewer, that is a cost savings for patients, insurers, hospitals and blood centers," she said.

Platelet supplies must be renewed constantly because they don't last long outside the body, she said. "They have a half-life of five days," Slichter said. "The half-life of red cells is 43 days."

Publication of the study results "hopefully will change transfusion practice," she said.

"In the dose range we used, there was absolutely no effect of dose on the risk of bleeding," Slichter said. "Smaller doses are as hemostatically effective as larger doses."

"This is very good news," said Dr. Donna L. Skerrett, director of transfusion medicine and cellular therapy at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. "It answers a question that has been asked for quite a while: whether platelet dosage really matters."

Because of the short half-life of platelets, supplies often drop during weekends and because of storms or even holidays, Skerrett said. "It is extremely valuable to know that dosage can be reduced at those times with no harm to patients," she said.

More information

The American Red Cross has more on platelet donation.

SOURCES: Victor M. Aquino, M.D., associate professor, pediatric hematology-oncology, University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, Dallas; Sherrill J. Slichter, M.D., professor, medicine, University of Waashington, and director, platelet transfusion research, Puget Sound Blood Center, both in Seattle; Donna Skerrett, M.D., director, transfusion medicine and cellular therapy, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 18, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. AUDIO from Medialink and Bayer: Lifesaving Benefits of Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy Maintained with Naproxen Sodium
2. Low-dose aspirin does not appear to reduce risk of CV events in patients with diabetes
3. Type 2 Diabetics Studied in Low-Dose Aspirin Trial
4. FDA Approves Low-dose Regimen of PREMARIN Vaginal Cream to Treat Moderate to Severe Postmenopausal Dyspareunia - Painful Sexual Intercourse
5. FDA Approves Low-dose Regimen of PREMARIN Vaginal Cream to Treat Moderate to Severe Postmenopausal Dyspareunia – Painful Sexual Intercourse : Agency Grants New Indication for Bothersome Vaginal Symptom Associated with Menopause
6. What is the most effective therapy for low-dose aspirin induced peptic ulcer?
7. Low-Dose Acitretin May Reduce Nail Psoriasis
8. Drug Limits Stomach Trouble in Patients Taking Low-Dose Aspirin
9. Study Evaluating Efficacy and Safety of Two Low-dose Regimens of PREMARIN Vaginal Cream for the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Vaginal Atrophy Now Published
10. NIH takes step to assess any possible risk associated with low-dose radiation exposure
11. New EPA Rodent Study Finds No Low-Dose BPA Effects on Reproductive Function or Behavior
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the ... are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The ... centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, ... presented a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary ... part of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone ... physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If ... at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), ... is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, ... , Inc. Patients are no longer limited to ... EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading ... and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced ... Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed ... other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate ... the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: