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Abstract

Platelet studies were done in healthy male volunteers and in thrombocytopenic patients. Some of the platelets used in the study were isolated by mechanical apheresis using either the Haemonetics blood processor 30, the IBM blood processor 2997 or the Fenwal CS-3000 blood processor before freezing. Other platelets were isolated from individual units of whole blood and pooled before freezing. The platelets were frozen with a 6% cryoprotectant (DMSO) in a polyvinylchloride (PVC) plastic bag or a polyolefin plastic bag at -80°C in a mechanical freezer and stored for as long as 3 years. Some of the frozen platelets were transported in dry ice in polystyrene foam containers to determine whether they would be adversely affected by such treatment. Platelet recovery after freezing, thawing and washing was about 75%. In the healthy male volunteers, in vivo recovery of autologous platelets 1–2 h after transfusion was about 33%, and the life span was about 8 days. In the thrombocytopenic patients, in vivo recovery values were 50% of those from fresh platelets. The transfusion of previously frozen washed platelets reduced clinical bleeding in the thrombocytopenic patients with bleeding. There was no evidence of quality deterioration in platelets after storage at -80°C for at least 2 years, as determined from in vitro recovery and in vivo survival values, nor was there any adverse effect as a result of shipment of the frozen platelets in dry ice in polystyrene foam containers from one facility to another.