Background and objective: While medical fraternity globally recognizes the role of platelet transfusion in the management of hospitalized dengue patients the exact indications and situations in which these are to be transfused may vary. Since there is inherent risk associated with the transfusion of blood/blood-component, it is imperative for each institution (or country) to lay their own criteria for transfusion of these blood components. The present study was conducted to lay precise criteria and transfusion trigger for platelet transfusion in our set-up.
Materials and methods: The present study was conducted on 225 serologically confirmed dengue patients admitted at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals between 1(st) of August to 30(th) of November 2005. Clinical data, reports of hematological investigation, platelets requirements and data obtained from daily follow-up were analyzed. The clinicians followed the guidelines issued by the Directorate of Health services, NCT of Delhi.
Results: In the serologically confirmed cases, the prevalence of thrombocytopenia (count less than 100,000/cumm) was 84.88% on admission and bleeding was recorded in 22 (9.7%) patients. About 96 (42.6%) patients of dengue cases received platelet transfusion. Among them 47 (20.88%) patients had a platelet count < 20,000/cumm, 43 (19.11%) had a platelet count in the range of 21-40,000/cumm while 6 (2.66%) patients had the platelet count in between 41 and 50,000/cumm. Out of 49 patients with a platelet count >20,000/cumm, 18 patients had haemorrhagic manifestations such as petechiae, gum-bleeding, epistaxis, etc., which necessitates the use of platelet transfusion. However, 31 patients received inappropriate platelet transfusion.
Conclusion: This study suggests that bleeding occurs more often in patients with severe thrombocytopenia. High-risk patients having platelet count < 20,000/cumm and risk of bleeding require urgent platelet transfusion. Patients with platelet count 21-40,000/cumm are in moderate risk and require platelet transfusion only if they have any haemorrhagic manifestations and other superadded conditions.
Keywords: Dengue patients; platelet transfusion; thrombocytopenia.