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March 4, 1992

Sepsis After Platelet Transfusions-Reply

Author Affiliations

Johns Hopkins Cancer Center Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1992;267(9):1206. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480090054017

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In Reply.  —We wish to thank Dr Ciavarella for the interesting points that have been raised. If one calculates the rate of contamination of a single unit of platelets, the contamination rate is indeed one per 13460 events. However, from a clinical point of view, the number of events per transfusion is the most important incidence. Hence, we chose this measure (one per 4200 transfusions) in our presentation.We also hope that a method of rapid diagnosis could be developed. Lacking an effective alternative, we continue our practice of saving an aliquot of each unit. We feel that it is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can supply definitive information in a short period of time. It also allows us to determine if the contamination is occurring due to events at the time of collection or to pooling. We have not explored the possibility of using monoclonal antibodies for rapid antigen