The practice of platelet transfusion in the intensive care unit

Salam S. Salman, Evans R. Fernández Pérez, James R. Stubbs, Ognjen Gajic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The practice of platelet transfusion in the intensive care unit varies, and liberal use may not be associated with improved outcome. This study reviewed the medical records of 117 patients with moderate-to-severe thrombocytopenia and without active bleeding who were admitted to intensive care unit beds during a 6-month period. The primary outcome measures were new bleeding episodes and platelet transfusion complications. Ninety (77%) received a platelet transfusion. Significant new bleeding developed in 1 patient who received a transfusion. Six patients (8%) developed transfusion complications: 2 transfusion-related acute lung injury, 2 allergic, and 2 febrile reactions. Patients who did not receive platelet transfusion had a higher severity of illness than transfused patients. Predictors of platelet transfusion were platelet count and postoperative status, but not invasive procedure. The practice of platelet transfusion in critically ill patients with thrombocytopenia varies. Prospective studies evaluating restrictive versus liberal platelet transfusion strategies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Intensive care unit
  • Platelets
  • Thrombocytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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