The effects of infusion methods on platelet count, morphology, and corrected count increment in children with cancer: in vitro and in vivo studies

Oncol Nurs Forum. 1994 Nov-Dec;21(10):1669-73.


Purpose/objectives: To determine whether infusion method influences the quality of platelets transfused.

Design: Linked in vitro and in vivo study. Quasi-experimental design for in vitro and cross-over design with balanced randomization for in vivo.

Setting: Pediatric cancer center in the midsouthern United States.

Sample: Pheresed/pooled platelet units in vitro (n = 12). In vivo convenience sample of 26 children, ages 2-19 years, with cancer and thrombocytopenia who required platelet transfusion.

Methods: Two infusion pumps (IMED 980 and Gemini, IMED Corp., San Diego, CA) versus gravity flow for in vitro platelet infusion. Gemini infusion pump versus gravity flow for in vivo platelet transfusion.

Main outcome measures: Platelet count, morphology score, and corrected count increment.

Findings: No significant differences noted in platelet count or morphology score among or across the three infusion methods in vitro. No significant differences noted between the two infusion methods in platelet count or corrected count increment in vivo.

Conclusions: Although limited to a specific patient population, setting, and infusion device, findings revealed that the pump was clinically acceptable because it did not negatively affect platelet recovery. Replication of this study with other infusion devices is recommended.

Implications for nursing practice: Study findings validate the current nursing procedure for the administration of platelets at the study setting. Use of infusion pumps for platelet transfusions is time-efficient and energy-efficient for nurses because the pumps offer a well-controlled infusion rate, accurate volume measurement, and an alarm system for monitoring the infusion.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Platelets / cytology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusion Pumps
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Platelet Count
  • Platelet Transfusion / instrumentation
  • Platelet Transfusion / methods*
  • Platelet Transfusion / nursing