Last Review Date: 14 January 2022

This guideline aims to provide practical advice on platelet transfusions to help clinicians to decide when support is expected to be beneficial and to reduce inappropriate use. If the reason for thrombocytopenia is unclear, further investigation is required as this is likely to influence management.

This document will cover practice in adults relevant to the UK and replace the 2003 BSH platelet use guideline. The indications for platelet transfusion in children and neonates and more general specifications such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) status and irradiation are not included, and can be found in other BSH guidelines (“Guidelines on transfusion for fetuses, neonates and older children” and “Guidelines on the use of irradiated blood components”) and guidance from SABTO



On page 368, column 1, the third bullet point states: Consider platelet transfusion to  prevent bleeding in severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count <1 × 109/L) caused by abciximab.

Please note the correction in the figures below: 

Consider platelet transfusion to prevent bleeding in severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count <10 × 109/L) caused by abciximab.


Declaration of Interests

The BSH paid the expenses incurred during the writing of this guidance. None of the authors had conflicts of interest to declare. All authors have made a declaration of interests to the BSH and Task Force Chairs which may be viewed on request.