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

Thrombocytopenia and Prophylactic Platelet Transfusions Before Airway Procedures

Limited data suggest that thrombocytopenia does not significantly increase the risks of airway procedures. A retrospective study of every bronchoscopy performed at two academic medical centers over a 5-yr period identified 72 patients with platelet counts less than 50 × 103 cells/μl (including 35 with counts less than 20 × 103 cells/μl), and none had periprocedural bleeding by British Thoracic Society (London, United Kingdom) criteria.[44] In the absence of high-quality evidence, some authors and professional societies state that oropharyngeal and airway procedures such as bronchoscopy and endoscopy can be performed at a platelet count greater than 20 × 103 cells/μl without excessive risk.[45]