Objective: Variation exists in neonatal platelet transfusion practices. Recent studies found potential harm in liberal platelet transfusion practices, supporting the use of lower transfusion thresholds. Our aim was to reduce non-indicated platelet transfusions through implementation of a restrictive platelet transfusion guideline.
Study design: Platelet transfusions from January 2017 to December 2019 were classified as indicated or non-indicated using the new guideline. Interventions included guideline implementation and staff education. Outcomes were evaluated using statistical process control charts. Major bleeding was the balancing measure.
Result: During study, 438 platelet transfusions were administered to 105 neonates. The mean number of non-indicated platelet transfusions/month decreased from 7.3 to 1.6. The rate of non-indicated platelet transfusions per 100 patient admissions decreased from 12.5 to 2.9. Rates of major bleeding remained stable.
Conclusions: Implementation of a restrictive neonatal platelet transfusion guideline significantly reduced potentially harmful platelet transfusions in our NICU without a change in major bleeding.