Platelets are prepared from both apheresis and whole blood donations.
For apheresis platelets, an apheresis machine separates anticoagulated blood into components and retains a bag of platelets and a portion of plasma. The remaining elements (red and white blood cells) and the majority of the plasma are either returned to the donor or collected for preparation of other component types. The remaining platelets are resuspended in nutritive platelet additive solution (PAS).
One, two or three adult doses of platelets may be prepared from a single apheresis platelet donation. If required, one adult apheresis platelet dose can be subdivided into three packs of equal volume to produce paediatric apheresis platelets. This reduces donor exposure for paediatric recipients and minimises product wastage.
Whole blood derived platelets are produced by harvesting the platelets from a pool of buffy coats from four ABO identical whole blood donations. The platelets are resuspended in additive solution to produce the pooled platelet component.
Both apheresis and pooled platelets are leucodepleted during or soon after collection and are also irradiated before release from Lifeblood, unless other specific arrangements have been made with the receiving laboratory/institution.
All apheresis plateletcollections and buffy coat derived pooled platelets are sampled for bacterial contamination screening (BCS) at or after 36 hours post collection.
Platelets can be stored for 7 days after collection at 20 - 24º C with gentle agitation. Platelets can be irradiated at any stage during their 7 day storage and thereafter can be stored up to their normal shelf life of 7 days after collection.
Typical unit content and specifications
The typical unit content data is derived from Lifeblood process control testing. For each parameter, the mean value (± 1 SD) and specification is shown.
Unless otherwise specified data is for the period 1 January to 31 December 2020.*
Platelets are available in all ABO groups and RhD positive and negative groups. Group AB are manufactured on request.
Pooled platelets can only be CMV-seronegative and/or irradiated.
Apheresis platelets suspended in plasma
Lifeblood stopped producing apheresis platelets suspended in plasma in March 2019. A comparison between the old and new products is available.