Authors in the New England Journal of Medicine published a “Perspective” that examines how to improve the platelet supply in the U.S. In the piece titled “Ensuring a Reliable Platelet Supply in the United States,” the authors call attention to the “urgen[t] need to identify new approaches to increasing platelet availability if we are to meet routine demand, create dependable surge supply, and ensure capacity for rapid ramp-up in response to public health emergencies.” They describe the “mismatch between this growing platelet demand and reduced platelet collection suggests that the chronic platelet shortage could worsen in the next few years, a possibility that underscores the need for effective countermeasures.” While noting that surge capacity is “insufficient,” the authors also added that “The Covid-19 pandemic precipitated an acute shortage of blood for transfusions, raising deeper questions about planning for ensuring the availability of blood products in emergencies.” They call for the implementation of platelet technologies used worldwide in the U.S. “to address ongoing platelet shortages, accommodate surge requirements, and improve capacity for responding to public health emergencies.” The authors concluded the article with several ways to improve the platelet supply and “recommend[ed] the establishment of a public–private partnership that could develop an industry-wide solution to the increased need for platelets. The semiautomated and fully automated methods have not been submitted for FDA consideration. An alliance of public and private stakeholders working collaboratively could identify a clear pathway for obtaining FDA approval, followed by production and widespread clinical use of much-needed platelets.”
Citation: Riley, W., Cohn, C., Love, K., and McCullough, J. “Ensuring a Reliable Platelet Supply in the United States.” New England Journal of Medicine. 2023.