Perioperative Platelet Transfusions

Aaron Stansbury Hess, M.D., Ph.D.; Jagan Ramamoorthy, M.D.; John Rider Hess, M.D., M.P.H.


Anesthesiology. 2021;134(3):471-479. 

In This Article

A Brief History of Platelet Collection and Transfusion

Platelets were recognized as a constituent of blood in the 1870s, and their function identified shortly after, but for 70 yr there was no way to isolate them in a closed system.[5] In 1959 it was demonstrated that exchange transfusion in children with severe thrombocytopenia could correct their platelet counts and stop bleeding.[6] Research in the 1960s and 1970s produced improved storage methods and the discovery that storing platelets at room temperature preserved their lifespan after transfusion,[7] and that pools of platelets from multiple donors resulted in higher posttransfusion platelet counts.[8] Most platelets in the United States are now obtained by apheresis from a single donor, but the doses established in these studies are still used today.[9]