Every blood center knows that summer brings a significant drop in the number of donations. The problem is especially acute with platelets. Platelets have a very short shelf life (~5-7 days post collection, vs 35 days for red blood cells and 6 months for frozen plasma) Inventory is thus very tightly coupled with recent donor activity. Summer typically sees decreased donor visits as college students disperse and families spend more time traveling.
The RAND Corporation report, released in 2016, addresses many of these concerns by advocating for increased technological innovation, regulatory reform, greater investment in blood centers as a public health resource, and a more fluid distribution network.
In the short term, however, there are several promising avenues for expanding platelet resources available: pre-storage pooled platelets (Acrodose), single donor platelets suspended in Platelet Additive Solution (PAS), units with 7 days of post-collection viability, and expanding the geographical area from which units can be procured.Read More