Platelet transfusions can be life-saving in trauma, obstetrics, haematology/oncology, and other bleeding conditions. The current shelf-life of platelets for transfusion in Australia is 5 days, making it difficult to provide platelets reliably in regional and remote areas. Such a short shelf-life can lead to high levels of wastage. Cryopreservation can extend platelet shelf-life to 2 years, potentially solving this problem. This proposed BMedSci project forms a component of the NHMRC-funded CLIP II randomised controlled trial (a phase III trial to assess cryopreserved platelets for routine use in actively bleeding patients), and a component of the NHMRC Synergy Grant – Addressing Australia’s National Transfusion Research Priorities. The project aims to help determine which Australian hospitals that do not currently hold platelets, or where platelet supplies are difficult, would benefit most from a cryopreserved platelet blood bank should cryopreserved platelets be shown to be non-inferior to liquid-stored platelets. The proposed project aims to utilise an existing retrospective database containing clinical, laboratory and transfusion data from multiple hospitals to determine a profile of platelet use in Australia and develop a better understanding of current platelet use in different patient groups. Additional work may include using data available at a national level to quantify platelet availability, platelet usage, wastage, and transport of platelets to and between sites. From this project, the prospective student can gain specific clinical knowledge regarding transfusion medicine in both haematology and critical care practice, and can develop knowledge and skills in statistical modelling and health economics. The prospective student will also have the opportunity to work with a highly dynamic multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers within the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, the Transfusion Research Unit and the Centre for Health Economics, all at Monash University.
transfusion, platelets, haematology, intensive care, statistical modelling, health economics
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
553 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne (adjacent to The Alfred)