Plasma Transfusion as Bleeding Prophylaxis in the Critically Ill
Plasma is the protein-rich fraction of blood that contains factors needed to facilitate hemostasis. To ensure that all of the components in plasma are preserved from vein to vein, U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and AABB standards carefully regulate the process of plasma manufacture, storage, and thawing. The result of these efforts is the widespread availability of a relatively inexpensive and potentially lifesaving infusion of blood proteins and coagulation factors. However, despite the high quality and ease of availability of plasma, there is surprisingly little evidence to support the utility of plasma transfusion in most clinical situations.