Platelet Storage – Current Limitations and Future Solutions

Cherise Farrugia

Department of Applied Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta, Malta.

Byron Baron

Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking, University of Malta, Malta.

Vanessa Zammit *

Department of Applied Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta, Malta, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking, University of Malta, Malta and National Blood Transfusion Services, Malta, Malta.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Platelets are small anucleate cell fragments found in the blood, which originate from large cells known as megakaryocytes. Platelets are widely used in transfusion medicine for therapeutic purposes. Platelet transfusions are beneficial for patients who are experiencing thrombocytopenic conditions or heavy bleeding and demands for platelet concentrates (PCs) are constantly on the rise. Current regulations that govern how PC units are prepared require that these be stored at a temperature of 22°C±2°C, under constant agitation for 5 days. This short shelf-life is due to the high susceptibility of this product to bacterial contaminations and platelet storage lesions (PSL). Many publications demonstrate how storing PCs at lower temperatures may help increase the shelf-life of this blood product. Prolonging the shelf-life will consequently decrease unnecessary wastage of valuable donations and the overall costs associated with PC production. Furthermore, cold stored platelets decrease both the risk of bacterial contamination and the occurrence of PSL.

Keywords: Platelet concentrates, cold storage, prolonged shelf-life, quality, safety

How to Cite

Farrugia, C., Baron, B., & Zammit, V. (2022). Platelet Storage – Current Limitations and Future Solutions. International Journal of Research and Reports in Hematology, 5(2), 278–283. Retrieved from


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