BACKGROUND: Platelet (PLT) concentrates are currently stored in an incubator at 20 to 24°C with continuous gentle agitation. PLTs are routinely shipped for transfusion to thrombocytopenic patients, however. There is a concern that PLT concentrates may be adversely affected during the shipping process. CASE REPORT: A 40-year-old woman with severe aplastic anemia and immune refractory to unselected PLT transfusions was transferred to a distant medical center for a hematopoietic peripheral blood progenitor cell transplant where she continued to receive HLA-matched PLTs from her dedicated donors. Sixteen such components were collected and air-shipped in insulated boxes to the transplant center. Thirty-seven platelet-pheresis components from the same dedicated donors had been transfused to the patient before transfer. Corrected count increments (CCIs) at the two sites were compared, with assessment of the role of HLA-match grades. The mean interruption time of controlled agitation during shipment was approximately 10.5 hours. The mean CCI of all distant transfusions was 14,450 ± 9700 PLTs per μL·m2 per 1011 and that of local transfusions was 10730 ± 4870. The mean donor-paired difference between CCIs at the two sites was 1140 ± 9940. At the remote location no clinically significant bleeding occurred and one posttransfusion febrile reaction was noted. CONCLUSION: Despite the study limitations, the effectiveness, in a single patient, of leukoreduced, irradiated apheresis PLTs shipped by lengthy combined surface and airline transport is reported, as measured by posttransfusion CCIs.
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