Is Platelet Expiring Out of Date? A Systematic Review

Andrew W.J. Flint, Zoe K. McQuilten, Gregory Irwin, Kylie Rushford, Helen E. Haysom, Erica M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Current platelet concentrates are perishable blood products with short shelf lives. Combined with often unpredictable demand, this results in platelet inventory management problems, manifested by high rates of outdating frequently reported at 10% to 20%, and sometimes inadequate clinical supply. The objective of this study was to critically review the published methodologies on measures to reduce platelet outdating rates, in order to determine how platelet outdating and availability can be improved. We performed a systematic review of journal articles published in English to May 2019 identified from MEDLINE, with reported methods to improve platelet inventory outdating rates and availability. The complexity of each methodology was scored based on whether a typical blood bank manager could design, implement and run a platelet outdating program based on the methodology. Twenty-four relevant citations were found—these included 8 citations employing operational research (OR) methodologies, 7 evaluation/best practice, 6 simulation and 3 forecasting. Over half the included studies have been published within the last decade. The citations reporting the lowest predicted outdating were also the most complex methods. Overall predicted outdating and shortages were less than 4% based on the available data. In conclusion, we found that research interest in platelet inventory management problems has increased in line with platelet demand and methods to assist in reducing outdating rates without increased shortages have been available now for 4 decades; high rates of platelet outdating do however continue to be reported around the world. Developments in platelet preparation and storage, and other new approaches, may assist in addressing this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalTransfusion Medicine Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Expiry
  • Inventory
  • Outdating
  • Platelet
  • Wastage

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