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Reliable Storage Equipment is Critical to Safeguarding Platelets

Posted on Aug 02, 2022 by Colleen Holtkamp

A person using platelet equipment

Platelets are blood cells that are essential to hemostasis, the body’s process to prevent and stop bleeding. Under normal circumstances, platelets respond to injuries such as cuts and scrapes by sticking together, causing the blood to clot, which helps seal the injured area.

Unfortunately, for people who are not able to make enough platelets, just a small cut can result in excessive blood loss. Platelet transfusions are a critical therapy for preventing bleeding in cancer and transplant patients and for treating bleeding caused by trauma.

Platelet products must be stored under specific conditions to maintain viability and regulatory compliance. AABB Standards detail the requirements for storage, transportation, and expiration of various blood products. According to this guidance, most platelet components should be stored from 20-24°C with continuous gentle agitation.

To achieve these storage conditions, platelet storage systems typically consist of an incubator that provides a temperature-controlled environment within the required range and an agitator that provides continuous gentle agitation.

It takes a great deal of resources for blood centers to provide platelet products to hospitals. When stored from 20-24°C, platelets have a short shelf life and cannot be stockpiled. This means it can be challenging to make sure enough platelets are available to meet patient needs.

In addition, the implementation of measures designed to enhance platelet safety by reducing the risk of bacterial contamination may require larger samples, potentially impacting the platelet supply and elevating concerns about shortages.

Therefore, reliable platelet storage is essential to blood centers and hospital transfusion services. These systems are critical for safeguarding life-saving platelet products and users must be able to depend on them to meet their requirements. Reliable performance in terms of minimizing service events and downtime is also extremely important.

Helmer Scientific has been serving the blood bank community for more than 40 years. We offer a broad range of platelet storage systems, from compact countertop models to high-capacity floor models. Helmer platelet incubators and agitators are designed for quality and reliable performance.

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For platelet storage, it is important to consider what matters in the design of the equipment. What helps facilities meet AABB Standards for storing platelet products? Are there any other factors that should be considered when selecting incubators and agitators?

To learn more about what to consider when selecting a platelet storage system, review our Best Practices Guide for Selecting Platelet Incubators and Agitators.

Download the Guide »

Colleen Holtkamp

Written by Colleen Holtkamp

Helmer designs, manufactures, and markets specialized medical and laboratory equipment to customers in more than 125 countries. With an extensive background in Helmer products, Colleen’s focus is on the Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank segments.

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