Perception of low-titer group A plasma and potential barriers to using this product: A blood center's experience serving community and academic hospitals.
To alleviate the shortage of AB plasma, an alternative plasma product, low-titer group A plasma (LTGAP), is now available. The product is indicated for emergency transfusions when the patient's blood group has not been identified. The product's defining anti-B titers vary across institutions, and at our blood center we define <1:100 as low-titer.
We created two surveys and emailed them to hospital blood bank managers, supervisors, and medical directors who currently use LTGAP and those that have not ordered it. We calculated the amount of LTGAP that met our <1:100 cutoff. We searched our inventory database to obtain sales of LTGAP, AB, and all other types of plasma in 2014.
We learned from the surveys that the product is safe and being used as indicated for only life or limb-threatening emergencies until patient's blood group is known and specific products can be provided. Most common reasons for not using LTGAP were lack of need in non-trauma hospitals and limiting capabilities in blood bank software. Although sales of LTGAP increased by ~5% by end of the first year since introduction, sales of AB plasma remained relatively steady.
LTGAP appears to be a safe alternative to group AB plasma for emergency indications. By reviewing our percentage of group A plasma units that meet our low-titer cutoff and the current interest for the product, we can reduce the amount of units we titer each day by ~30% and can readjust that amount if there is increased interest. Besides lack of familiarity and limitations in computer software to incorporate LTGAP, the steady demand for AB plasma can potentially be attributed to trauma centers ordering more AB plasma than needed and potentially wasting it in nonurgent cases to avoid outdating the product and lack of institutional guidelines on when to switch from AB to type-specific plasma resulting in excess AB plasma being transfused.
Agaronov, M; DiBattista, A; Christenson, E; Miller-Murphy, R; Strauss, D; Shaz, BH
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