Children being treated for cancer often spend long days receiving chemotherapy intravenously or through a port.
They also often require regular blood transfusions, including platelets (which are involved in clotting, and produced in bone marrow), to maintain stability and health. But the platelet administration process is often agonizingly slow, typically taking hours, which means children are, yet again, tethered to an IV, and unable to move about freely.
National guidelines offer a wide range of acceptable platelet administration schedules: anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours for the same amount of platelets. But no existing research had yet evaluated the safety and efficacy of infusing platelets over a 30-minute time frame, according to University of Virginia nursing professor Beth Quatrara. So Quatrara, pediatric nurse Susan Steck and their acute care pediatric colleagues from UVA Health assembled a study to ask a simple, but critical question:
Could kids being treated for cancer become IV pole-free more quickly if platelet administration was sped up?