Prolonged Platelet Storage – A Solution to the Increased Demand?

Lara Ellul Azzopardi

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Malta.

Denise Borg Aquilina

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Malta and National Blood Transfusion Services, Malta.

Vanessa Zammit *

National Blood Transfusion Services, Malta and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking, University of Malta, Malta.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Platelets are small, anuclear blood cells derived from megakaryocytes in the bone marrow. Their role is to stop bleeding (haemostasis) during haemorrhage and are also used as part of cancer treatment. Hence, the importance and demand for platelet concentrates (PCs) should never be underestimated. The short shelf-life of PCs poses a problem in terms of availability and a costly waste of resources, equipment, and time management. Increasing the shelf-life from the current 5-day storage period to 7 days is one way of managing this problem. A 7-day storage shelf-life is already implemented by various Blood Banks worldwide. However, many Blood Establishments still struggle with their decision to prolong the shelf-life of this product. This review highlights some important factors which should be considered for introducing a longer storage shelf-life.

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

How to Cite

Azzopardi, L. E., Aquilina, D. B., & Zammit, V. (2022). Prolonged Platelet Storage – A Solution to the Increased Demand?. International Journal of Research and Reports in Hematology, 5(2), 326–330. Retrieved from


Serrano K, Schubert P, Devine D. Platelet product quality remains high after seven days of storage [Internet]. Professional Education. 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 10].


Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. 7-day platelet shelf life | Lifeblood [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 10].


American Society of Hematology. Hematology Glossary - [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 26].


Chen Y, Zhong H, Zhao Y, Luo X, Gao W. Role of platelet biomarkers in inflammatory response. Biomark Res. 2020;8 (1):28.

European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM). 20th Edition of the EDQM Blood Guide now available - European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare - EDQM [Internet]. European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare. [cited 2022 Nov 26].


Farrugia C, Baron B, Zammit V. Platelet Storage – Current Limitations and Future Solutions. International Journal of Research and Reports in Hematology. 2022;5(2):232–7.

Miles J, Bailey SL, Fang L, Osborne B, Corson J, Mack JP, et al. Evaluation of efficacy and safety of cold-stored platelets in healthy human subjects treated with dual antiplatelet therapy. Blood. 2019;134(Supplement_1):718.

Nair PM, Meledeo MA, Wells AR, Wu X, Bynum JA, Leung KP et al. Cold-stored platelets have better preserved contractile function in comparison with room temperature-stored platelets over 21 days. Transfusion. 2021;61(S1): S68–79.

Zhao H, Devine DV. The missing pieces to the cold-stored platelet puzzle. Int J Mol Sci. 2022;23(3):1100.

Six KR, Compernolle V, Feys HB. When platelets are left in the cold. Annals of Blood [Internet]. 2020 Jun 30 [cited 2022 Dec 17];5(0).


Bohoněk M. Cryopreservation of Platelets: Advances and Current Practice [Internet]. Cryopreservation Biotechnology in Biomedical and Biological Sciences. IntechOpen; 2018 [cited 2022 Nov 26].


Johnson L, Waters L, Green S, Wood B, Marks DC. Freezing expired platelets does not compromise In vitro quality: An opportunity to maximize inventory potential. Transfusion. 2020;60(3):454–9.

Greinacher A, Hoffmann W. Why has the demand for platelet components increased? A commentary. Transfus Med. 2014;24(5):257–9.

Leiter O, Walker TL. Platelets in Neurodegenerative Conditions—Friend or Foe? Front Immunol. 2020;11:747.

Weyrich AS. Platelets: more than a sack of glue. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2014;2014(1):400–3.

van der Meer PF, van Zanten AP, Pietersz RN, Reesink HW. Variation of pH-measurement in platelet concentrates. Transfus Med. 2001;11(1):49–54.

Ng MSY, Tung JP, Fraser JF. Platelet Storage Lesions: What More Do We Know Now? Transfus Med Rev. 2018;S0887-7963(17)30189-X.

Árnason NÁ, Sigurjónsson ÓE. New strategies to understand platelet storage lesion. ISBT Science Series. 2017;12(4):496–500.

Debrincat A, Gialanze J, Spiteri N, Zammit V. Blood Donor Arm Disinfection -Preventing the Contamination of Blood Components. eMedical Research. 2020 Sep 18;2.

Grech K, Baron B, Zammit V. Storage of Platelet Concentrates - Looking Beyond Standard Parameters for Prolonged Storage. 2021;4:1024.

Meekers L, Baron B, Zammit V. The effects of chronic inflammatory disorders and storage lesions on cytokine levels in blood transfusion productss. Austin Hematol. 2021;6(1).

Boehlen F, Clemetson KJ. Platelet chemokines and their receptors: What is their relevance to platelet storage and transfusion practice? Transfus Med. 2001;11(6):403–17.

Lev PR, Salim JP, Marta RF, Osorio MJM, Goette NP, Molinas FC. Platelets possess functional TGF-beta receptors and Smad2 protein. Platelets. 2007;18(1):35–42.

Williams N, Bertoncello I, Jackson H, Arnold J, Kavnoudias H. The role of interleukin 6 in megakaryocyte formation, megakaryocyte development and platelet production. Ciba Found Symp. 1992;167:160–70;discussion 170-173.

Bester J, Pretorius E. Effects of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 on erythrocytes, platelets and clot viscoelasticity. Sci Rep. 2016;6:32188.

Gulliksson H. Additive solutions for the storage of platelets for transfusion. Transfus Med. 2000;10(4):257–64.

Hornsey VS, McColl K, Drummond O, McMillan L, Morrison A, Morrison L et al. Extended storage of platelets in SSP platelet additive solution. Vox Sang. 2006;91(1):41–6.

Gupta A, Chandra T, Kumar A. In vitro function of random donor platelets stored for 7 days in composol platelet additive solution. Asian J Transfus Sci. 2011;5(1):11–4.

Grech KM, Baron B, Zammit V. Ten days storage of platelets: Analysis of quality and safety. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research. 2022; 343–59.

Cardigan R, Williamson LM. The quality of platelets after storage for 7 days. Transfus Med. 2003;13(4):173–87.