Uncontrolled hemorrhage due to thrombocytopenia may occur not only in essential thrombocytopenia but also in secondary thrombocytopenia such as may follow treatment of leukemia with myelotoxic agents or exposure to ionizing radiation. Such a hemorrhage responds poorly to transfusion of blood obtained from blood banks, presumably because the platelets are quite unstable under the conditions of collection and storage. Consequently, in recent years attention has been directed toward development of improved methods for the collection, storage, and administration of platelets. The current status of this work has been reviewed by Stefanini and Dameshek1 together with a summary of their clinical experiences over a three year period.
Stefanini and Dameshek point out that in ordinary blood bank procedures agglutination and destruction of platelets is favored by their contact with such foreign surfaces as glass and metal and by the foaming that may result from the use of a vacuum. Indeed,