PIP - 16

return to blood transfusion guidance

Summary of guidelines for the use of platelet transfusions.

 Platelet transfusion is generally indicated for patients who are unable to produce their own platelets. This includes patients on chemotherapy, patients with marrow infiltration and patients with aplastic anaemia.  

Platelet transfusions are usually not helpful and sometimes dangerous in patients whose thrombocytopenia is due to increased platelet consumption eg. ITP, TTP or hypersplenism. If in doubt, discuss with the consultant haematologist on-call.   

Platelet transfusions are indicated when: 

Clinical Indication

Platelet count is <10x 109/l (or is expected to fall below that level) AND the patient is otherwise well.

Platelet count is <20 x 109/l AND the patient is unwell eg patient is bleeding, septic or has a coagulopathy.

Platelet count is <50 x 109/l AND the patient is about to undergo a minor surgical procedure with a risk of internal bleeding or patient has DIC.

Platelet count is <80 x 109/l AND the patient needs major surgery.


Version 1 / February 2013