Single-donor platelets reduce the risk of septic platelet transfusion reactions

Paul Ness, Hayden Braine, Karen King, Christine Barrasso, Thomas Kickler, Alice Fuller, Natalie Blades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Septic platelet transfusion reactions (SPTRs) are the most common, serious risk of transfusion. Because SPTRs result from donor skin flora or asymptomatic bacteremia, the use of single-donor platelets (SDPs) has been proposed to reduce the risk of SPTRs from the risks with pools of platelet concentrates (PCs). STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Beginning in 1986, all febrile transfusion reactions were evaluated by culture of the platelet bag. Confirmed SPTRs were identified by isolation of the same bacteria from the bag and the patient's blood or by positive Gram's stain of the bag that confirmed a positive platelet culture. In 1987, a program to minimize PC use in favor of SDP use was initiated as a means of reducing SPTRs. RESULTS: In 12 years, the use of SDPs increased from 51.7 percent to 99.4 percent of all platelet transfusions at one institution. SPTRs fell from three events in 1 year to the current rate of one event per year. The incidence of SPTRs decreased from 1 in 4,818 transfusions to 1 in 15,098 transfusions. The rate of SPTRs due to PCs was 5.39 times higher than that of SPTRs due to SDPs (95% Cl, 1.89,12.9). CONCLUSION: The use of SDPs is a simple means of reducing SPTRs. Other measures such as sterilization will be required to eliminate all SPTRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-861
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 24 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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