We report the use and effect of prophylactic platelet transfusions in critically ill thrombocytopaenic patients, comparing patients with or without bone marrow failure as a cause of thrombocytopaenia.
A retrospective observational study of admissions to three intensive care units (ICU) in the UK. We identified thrombocytopaenic patients who received a platelet transfusion and extracted the platelet count prior and subsequent to platelet transfusion. We grouped patients with or without suspected bone marrow failure, defined by a total white cell count ≤1.0 × 10/L.
Of 11,757 admissions, 399 (3.4%) patients received a platelet transfusion for thrombocytopaenia. The median [IQR] platelet count prior to transfusion in patients without bone marrow failure was 42 [28-64] × 10/L versus 14 [7-24] × 10/L (p < .0001) in those with. The median [IQR] increment in platelets following transfusion was lower in patients with marrow failure (12 [-1-23] × 10/L) compared to those without (18 [5-36] × 10/L) (p = .006).
Platelet transfusions were given at a higher median platelet count than suggested by guidelines. Patients with bone marrow failure were transfused at a lower threshold and experienced a smaller increment in platelet count when compared to patients without marrow failure.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.