Rapid growth of platelet production in Bristol, UK, and the requirement for a maximum 8-hour hold time prior to the production of platelets from whole blood led to the use of single donor platelet concentrates (SDPC). Initially platelets were derived from platelet rich plasma (PRP) produced by the Haemonetics system. The COBE Spectra system was introduced based on the high yield and low leucocyte content of the Spectra product and the absence of required secondary processing. Platelets could be produced more cheaply on the Haemonetics system if plasma revenues were included, however, when the premium paid for apheresis plasma was eliminated and when secondary processing costs were taken into account, the COBE platelets became less expensive. Buffy-coat platelets from whole blood, because of their higher yield and reduced leucocyte levels, have replaced platelets derived by the PRP method. Based on a costing model which assigns all collection and testing costs to red blood cells (RBCs), the key product or cost driver, buffy-coat platelets now appear to be very inexpensive in comparison to SDPC. Because the current costing models do not take into account patient outcome, further research into this area is needed.

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