Appropriateness of Plasma Transfusion: A College of American Pathologists Q-Probes Study of Guidelines, Waste, and Serious Adverse Events.

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Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine


Blood Component Transfusion; Humans; Plasma; Practice Guidelines as Topic


CONTEXT: - Plasma transfusion guidelines support patient care and safety, management of product wastage, and compliance; yet, there is little information across multiple institutions about use of and adherence to plasma transfusion guidelines.

OBJECTIVE: - To survey multiple institutions regarding their plasma transfusion guidelines and compliance, plasma wastage rates, and incidence of transfusion reactions associated with plasma transfusion.

DESIGN: - The College of American Pathologists Q-Probes model was used to collect data from 89 participating institutions. Each site was asked to provide data relevant to its most recent 40 adult patient plasma transfusion episodes, and complete a questionnaire regarding plasma transfusion guidelines, utilization and wastage of plasma, and transfusion reactions related to plasma transfusion.

RESULTS: - The participating institutions reported a total of 3383 evaluable plasma transfusion episodes with transfusion of 9060 units of plasma. Compliance with institution-specific guidelines was seen in 3018 events (89%). Pretransfusion and posttransfusion coagulation testing was done in 3281 (97%) and 3043 (90%) of these episodes, respectively. Inappropriate criteria were noted for more than 100 transfusion episodes. Thirty-two plasma transfusion episodes (1%) were associated with a transfusion reaction. Serious and fatal reactions were reported. Median plasma wastage rate for the year preceding the study was 4.5%.

CONCLUSIONS: - Most participating institutions are compliant with plasma transfusion guidelines based on published references, supported by appropriate testing. With transfusions for indications that lack evidence of efficacy and incidence of transfusion reactions, there is an ongoing role for transfusion service leaders to continue to update and monitor plasma transfusion practices.


Pathology & Laboratory Medicine