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National evaluation of platelet transport bags to reduce wastage

Principal Investigator / Supervisor: 
WEBERT, Kathryn
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee: 
CALLUM, Jeannie
LIN, Yulia
Canadian Blood Services
Project Start Date: 
July 1, 2016
Project End Date: 
March 31, 2019
Annually in Canada 874 platelets are discarded due to improper storage after issue from the blood transfusion laboratory. The estimated cost of platelet wastage is $240,089, assuming 70% buffy coat pools and 30% apheresis platelets. Platelets are in chronic short supply in Canada due to supply-demand mismatch during surges in use. Data from the multisite Pittsburgh transfusion service found that the use of platelet transport bags significantly reduced wastage. When platelets are transported to locations with refrigeration or blood coolers, it is a common error for nurses and physicians (transport medics, trauma surgeons and anaesthesiologists) to place the products in cooling devices with red cells due to inattention and lack of knowledge. The commonly cited reason is to keep all blood products together for “safety” reasons. Chilled platelets undergo modifications to their cell surface proteins which result in rapid clearance from the circulation post transfusion. The goal of this small project is to determine if the same strategy would be effective in the top 50 hospitals across Canada with the highest numerical loss of platelets. Re-usable platelet bags will be distributed to the hospitals together with a standard operating procedure and a PowerPoint with audio file for training of both the technologists and the clinical team. We hypothesize a 35% decrease in platelet wastage (cost savings $84,000).
Total Amount Awarded: 
Small Project Funding Program

Projects summaries are contributed by investigators who receive financial support from Canadian Blood Services. The summaries are intended to inform the public of the types of research projects that are supported by our organization. The information described in project summaries should not be considered as recommendation for clinical treatment and diagnosis.