A model for change: predicting the impact of system-wide improvements

What is this research about?


Platelet products are currently stored at room temperature with gentle agitation. However, if the platelet unit is contaminated with bacteria, this environment allows the bacteria to grow to potentially dangerous levels. Transfusing a contaminated platelet unit can cause sepsis, a potentially fatal transfusion reaction. To mitigate the risk of contamination, the donor’s skin is disinfected with an antiseptic arm scrub and the first few millilitres of the blood collection are separated into a diversion pouch. Blood operators further reduce the risk to patients by using a short shelf life for platelet products and screening each unit for bacterial contamination.


In brief: Computer simulation predicts that extending the platelet shelf life from five to seven days will reduce the wastage of platelet products by about 35 per cent.

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