Buffy coat platelets coming to America: Are we ready?

Richard R. Gammon, Dana Devine, Louis M. Katz, Eva Quinley, Yan Yun Wu, Kathleen Rowe, Anna Razatos, Kyungyoon Min, Stefan Reichenberg, Roxane Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Buffy coat (BC) platelets (PLTs) have been used globally for many years. In 2004 Canadian Blood Services (CBS) made the decision to transition from PLT-rich plasma (PRP) to BC PLTs. We reviewed the benefits and manufacture process of BC and the implementation challenges involved. Study Design and Methods: A literature review was performed in the following areas: BC efficacy, donor population shifts, production and good stewardship of PLTs, logistic considerations with overnight holds, advantages of the overnight hold, the CBS experience, licensure and standards, and changes needed to produce BC PLTs in the United States. The aim was to analyze current practice and identify possible actions for blood centers and hospitals. Results: Implementation of BC would offer an additional source of PLTs to address the growing elderly population and the declining apheresis donor base. Substantial logistic, operational, and financial benefits were seen when CBS transitioned to BC with overnight hold. Conclusions: Buffy coat blood products are widely used throughout the world. Recent conversion from PRP to BC by CBS showed that conversion can be accomplished with planning, communication, and partnership from all stakeholders. In conclusion, BC PLTs are worth serious consideration in the United States, but regulatory barriers in the United States will need to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • blood center operations
  • blood component preparations
  • platelet transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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