Clinical use of FFP: results of a retrospective process and outcome audit

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An audit has been carried out on the usage of 216 units of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) issued to 41 patients. This involved the systems of FFP issue, the appropriateness of prescription as well as the recorded benefits. Sixty-six per cent of the initial requests for FFP appeared to satisfy criteria for appropriate use. Review of the case notes resulted in some changes to earlier decisions and a slight increase to 73% of those accepted as valid. Only 94% of the FFP issued could be proved to have been given to identified patients and only 88% of case notes showed the reason for treatment.

Pre- and post-treatment coagulation results were available for all patients. In 15% of cases, pretreatment results were not significantly abnormal, and consequently no post-treatment improvement found. Coagulation improvement was documented in 78% of cases, and clinical statements on patient progress noted in 40%.

In 80% of cases, the patient received other blood products carrying a potential virus risk. Six of the remaining eight patients were treated to stabilize oral anticoagulation. For these patients, virus-inactivated prothrombin concentrates could have been used, resulting in almost the same reduction in virus transmission risk for the group of 41 patients as could be obtained by using virus-inactivated FFP.

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