A method is described for the isolation and preservation of human blood platelets. Their use in a platelet bank after storage of up to two years is described. The practical advantages to the recipient include small administration volume, freedom from pyrogenicity and immediate availability in the event of thrombocytopenic bleeding. The advantages of this technic to the hospitals include a saving of time, a saving of blood and the elimination of the frantic efforts of blood bank and laboratory personnel to produce large numbers of fresh platelet concentrates at the time of platelet needs.
The remarkable stability of preserved platelets is believed largely due to the method developed for their isolation from blood, wherein the cells are separated from the coagulation proteins with which they normally interact, prior to enzymatic degradation. The importance of a controlled atmosphere of CO2 for retention of clot retraction is presented. The in vitro and in vivo activities of the preserved cells are discussed. A hypothesis is suggested for the autocatalytic stimulation of new platelet production through temporary correction of a thromboplastic deficit by the transfusion of preserved platelets.