1. Eisenberg, Seth RN, OCN(R)


Platelet transfusions are commonly used for prophylaxis and treatment of bleeding. After a transfusion, an increment or "boost" is expected to occur. While a number of factors can contribute to a poor posttransfusion increment, refractoriness is typically defined as failure to achieve an appropriate increment after receiving 2 consecutive transfusions with fresh ABO-compatible platelets. The most common cause of refractoriness is contamination of the platelet product with leukocytes, resulting in human leukocyte antigens antibody formation. ABO incompatibility and human platelet antigens are also implicated in the development of refractoriness. Nurses who infuse platelets must understand these causes to assist in prevention and management.