The current state of the platelet supply in the US and proposed options to decrease the risk of critical shortages

James R. Stubbs*, Mary J. Homer, Toby Silverman, Andrew P. Cap

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Due to circumstances such as increased demand and an aging donor pool, the likelihood of critical platelet shortages is increasing. The platelet supply could be improved through the expansion of the donor pool, the identification and sustained utilization of high-quality donors, and changes in component processing and storage that result in a longer platelet shelf-life. Refrigerated platelets, stored at 1° to 6°C, have the potential to improve patient safety by decreasing the risk of bacterial contamination while concurrently allowing for a longer storage period (eg, 14 days) and improved hemostatic effectiveness in actively bleeding patients. An approach utilizing remuneration of apheresis platelet donors combined with pathogen reduction of the platelet components could be used as a means to increase the donor pool and identify and sustain safe, reliable, high-quality donors. Remuneration might provide an incentive for underutilized populations (eg, individuals <30 years old) to enter the apheresis platelet donor population resulting in a significant expansion of the platelet donor pool. Over time, approaches such as the use of refrigerated platelets, platelet donor remuneration, and the application of pathogen reduction technology, might serve to attract a large, reliable, and safe donor base that provides platelet collections with high yields, longer shelf-lives and, excellent hemostatic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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