Conversion to the buffy coat method and quality of frozen plasma derived from whole blood donations in Canada
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BACKGROUND: Canada converted from the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) method to the buffy coat (BC) method of processing whole blood donations between 2006 and 2008. We measured coagulation variables in plasma units during this transition, in 2006 (PRP only), 2007 (BC and PRP), and 2008 (BC only) to test the hypothesis that this conversion would not affect frozen plasma (FP) quality. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Fresh-frozen plasma (FFP; frozen within 8 hr of collection) or FP (frozen within 24 hr of collection) units were shipped on dry ice from 12 plasma manufacturing sites, thawed, and characterized using an automated coagulation analyzer, at a single testing site. RESULTS: FP made by the BC method (FP-BC) exhibited fibrinogen, Factor (F)V, ABO-matched FVIII, and antithrombin levels at least as high as FP made by the PRP method (FP-PRP) and supported global clotting, as measured by prothrombin time or activated partial thromboplastin time, to an indistinguishable extent as FP-PRP. FP-BC and FP-PRP did not differ in ABO-matched FVIII levels, but both contained 30% to 35% less FVIII than FFP. There was no discernible effect of the site of manufacturing on plasma quality. FP-BC units leukoreduced by centrifugation contained more FV activity than those leukoreduced by filtration, but the difference was unlikely to be of clinical significance. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that no reduction in FP quality, at least in the characteristics we tested, accompanied the switch from the PRP to the BC method processing of whole blood donations in Canada.
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