Red cell & platelet transfusion in adult haematology patients 2017

This was a re-audit of the audit performed in 2016. There has been an improvement in practice since 2016.

Key aim

 We re-audited practice against standards based on the National Blood Transfusion Committee (NBTC) indication codes.


We re-audited adults (16 years or over), with a malignant haematological diagnosis or bone marrow failure who received red cells, or platelets, or both in July 2017.

Who took part

We audited 4098 patients from 153 sites in July 2017, who received 3830 red cell transfusions and 1553 platelet transfusions. 148 hospitals also participated in the 2016 audit.

The majority of patients were over 60 years (median 73 years).

What did we find?

Red cell transfusion

 58% (2187/3780) of transfusion episodes the reason for transfusion was chronic anaemia.

Single unit transfusions were given to 43% (527/1217) of inpatients and 24% (629/2602) of outpatients, this has improve since 2016.

Prophylactic platelet transfusion

65% (305/469) of patients received a prophylactic platelet transfusion for reversible bone marrow failure when the platelet count was less than or equal to 10.

One adult therapeutic dose was transfused in 94% (1144/1218) of all prophylactic transfusions. This has improved since 2010 (90%) of all prophylactic transfusions.

Pre-procedure platelet transfusion

  27% (37/138) of pre-procedure platelet transfusions were considered appropriate.

Tools to help improve practice


Please cite as:

The Haematology Audit Working Group, on behalf of the National Comparative Audit in Blood Transfusion (NCABT) Steering Group. The 2017 audit of red cell & platelet transfusion in adult haematology patients (2018).