As early as 19 10 Duke (1) reported the efficacy of transfusing platelets in patients with bleeding disorders. However, it was not until the 1950s that platelet transfusions were investigated in a systematic fashion. The early workers in this field, Dillard, Brecher & Cronkite (2), Stefanini et al (3, 4), and Hirsch & Gardner (5). used platelet transfusions primarily as a diagnosÂ tic tool to evaluate mechanisms of thrombocytopenia rather than for theraÂ peutic purposes. The advent of plastic bags for blood collection in the 1960s made it feasible to centrifuge blood so that useful concentrates of platelets . could be prepared. As a consequence, platelet transfusions were adopted more frequently in the management of thrombocytopenic patients. In 1964, investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) described the value of platelet transfusions in the treatment of leukemia, where hemÂ orrhage was considered to be the major cause of death in 52% of 414 acute leukemia patients studied from 1954 to 1963 (6). During 1954 through 1959, before platelet preparations were available for transfusion, fatal hemÂ orrhage was observed in 67% of these cases. But in the 3-year period between 1960 and 1 963, only 37% of such patients
Annual Review of Medicine – Annual Reviews
Published: Feb 1, 1980
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