The Platelet Supply Problem

Limited platelet supplies and increasing demand are putting patients and hospitals at risk1,2

Each day, hospitals around the US require an average of 7,000 platelet doses.3 Oftentimes, they struggle to meet this demand. Meanwhile, our rapidly aging population and enhanced transfusion safety requirements put a further strain on the available platelet supply.1,4

Without a safe, reliable source of platelets, hospitals are compelled to postpone vital treatments and surgeries, threatening the well-being of patients and institutions alike.5

STS is committed to helping meet the nation’s platelet needs with an innovative approach that taps an expanded, younger pool of prescreened donors to ensure a safe, consistent supply of platelets

Scroll to Top

The demand for platelets is projected to rise with a rapidly aging population1,6

Patients 50 years and older receive 81% of apheresis platelet transfusions in the US1
100% 81% 0%

The demand for platelets will only continue to grow1

By 2030, the population 65 years and older will increase by 20 million people1


Supplies may not continue to meet the growing demand for apheresis platelet transfusions1

There has been a 76% increase in single-donor platelet (SDP) transfusions since 20017

14 Q1 14 Q2 14 Q3 14 Q4 15 Q1 15 Q2 15 Q3 15 Q4 16 Q1 16 Q2 16 Q3 16 Q4 17 Q1 17 Q2 17 Q3 17 Q4 18 Q1 18 Q2 18 Q3 18 Q4 141,000 139,000 137,000 135,000 133,000 131,000 129,000 127,000 125,000 140,000 145,000 150,000 155,000 ʼ14Q1 ʼ14Q2 ʼ14Q3 ʼ14Q4 ʼ15Q1 ʼ15Q2 ʼ15Q3 ʼ15Q4 ʼ16Q1 ʼ16Q2 ʼ16Q3 ʼ16Q4 ʼ17Q1 ʼ17Q2 ʼ17Q3 ʼ17Q4 ʼ18Q1 ʼ18Q2 New Chart Current Chart 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Demand is challenging supply as the donor base senesces1

% of Total Donations Years of Age 2001 2017 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 16-18 19-22 23-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 46-50 41-45 51-55 56-60 61-65 66-70 71+

Adapted from Stubbs JR, et al. Transfusion. 2021;61(1):303-312.1

Largest age cohort most likely to donate1

Secure Transfusion Services 2001 vs 2017

Federal mandates may constrain platelet availability even more4,9

The safety of platelet transfusions is critical, and recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates on bacterial risk mitigation require platelet collections to undergo proactive safety protocols, such as large volume delayed sampling or pathogen reduction. Platelet volume loss due to methods such as these may further erode the platelet supply.4,9

Secure Transfusion Services Icon

Limited supply of regulatory compliant platelets impacts patients and hospitals2,5

Secure Transfusion Services Icon
of survey participants had meaningful supply issues as a result of inadequate platelet availability2
Infections, collections, & timing impact donations
Secure Transfusion Services Icon

Bacterial contamination is the #1 infectious risk for donated platelets10

Secure Transfusion Services Icon

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1/2500 platelet units are contaminated by bacteria10

Secure Transfusion Services Icon

Current US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates on bacterial risk mitigation will have a significant impact on the available supply of apheresis platelets4

Secure Transfusion Services Icon

It takes approximately 3 hours to collect platelets, a time commitment that further limits the donor pool11

Secure Transfusion Services Icon
A limited shelf life challenges the nation’s 1,805 rural hospitals to maintain a meaningful supply of platelets12,13