Let’s Talk Platelets: Evidence-Based Platelet Transfusions

Premier Pulse     March 2019

Platelet transfusions are used frequently in medical practice today. Current literature speaks to fairly specific indications and contraindications, though there remains controversy, particularly for those receiving antiplatelet medications. Platelet transfusions can be associated with significant adverse events or reactions. It is imperative that health care providers understand the most recent literature surrounding platelet transfusions, indications, and contraindications. 

This extended content, provided by Carolyn Burns, MD, patient blood management physician consultant, contains an excellent table, along with an outstanding figure for easy view and reference. You can also learn more about: 

  • The basics of platelets, such as their processing, composition, volume, standard dose, and specialized components
  • Current evidence-based indications and contraindications
  • Platelet transfusion for specific patient populations
  • The future of platelet products
  • Summary comments regarding therapeutic vs. prophylactic platelet transfusions

Carolyn Burns, MD, is a board-certified pathologist (AP/CP). She served as medical director/chief of pathology for the Jewish Hospital Healthcare system’s department of Pathology in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1991 to 2011. Her work included medical directorship of surgical pathology, transfusion service, the Patient Blood Management (PBM) program, bloodless medicine and surgery, and tissue services for the five-hospital system. She currently sits on the advisory board and is guest lecturer for the Bellarmine University Clinical Laboratory Science Program, serving as the chair of the medical advisory board for the American Red Cross Blood Center, River Valley Region.

Dr. Burns is a passionate advocate for patient blood management, has been published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks, and is often sought as an engaging speaker on diverse transfusion topics. She has worked as an independent PBM physician consultant since 2011. Current interests also include laboratory management and utilization, another venue that promotes quality, safe, patient-centered care.


Premier Health Patient Blood Management Committee Presents:
Platelets & Plasma: The Real Deal
By Carolyn Burns, MD
April 3, Bieser Auditorium at Miami Valley Hospital
7:00 – 8:00 am
Noon – 1:00 pm
5:00 – 6:00 pm

Back to the March 2019 issue of Premier Pulse

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