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Guidance on the non-agitation of platelets

The permitted periods of interruptions of non-agitation

We routinely move platelets between manufacturing sites and stock holding units before they are issued to hospitals.

The guidelines for UK Blood Services states:

“Platelets should be gently agitated during storage. If agitation is interrupted, for example due to equipment failure or prolonged transportation, the components are suitable for use, retaining the same shelf life, provided the interruptions are for no longer than a total of 24 hours and no single interruption lasts for more than eight hours.”

We accept that at the point where platelets are issued to hospitals, there will have been no more than 16 hours of periods of interruptions of non-agitation (in most instances it will be far less than 16 hours).

Hospitals, therefore, have a maximum of 8 hours of non-agitation which needs to include the time taken for the delivery.

If you have periods of interruptions which exceed 8 hours you should contact Hospital Services and request the audit trail for individual units.

Lucy Frith, Process Improvement Manager