More and more patients are discovering the wide range of benefits of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). People are lining up to experience the power of PRP, due in part to its powerful biological platelets and a number of organic growth factors. With such an increased patient demand, it’s more important than ever to maintain high standards of quality and safety. So, here are five best practices for creating a safe and successful patient experience.
1. Only use PRP as intended.
Safe and rapid preparation of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is critical. PRP should only be prepared from a small sample of blood from the patient, during the point of care. Then, the PRP is mixed with autograft and/or allograft bone prior to application to a bony defect for improving handling characteristics. PRP should exclusively be applied to the patient from whom the blood was drawn.
2. Follow preparation and kit handling instructions carefully.
Proper storage of tubes is crucial to the efficacy and safety of the treatment. Tubes should be stored between 4°-25°C. Before use, carefully inspect tubes, and never use them if there is foreign matter present. All liquid anticoagulants are clear. Some white material may present—this is normal. Do not use tubes if you notice packaging is damaged or they have exceeded their expiration date. Also, ensure that the pouch is undamaged.
3. Process all PRP procedures under a controlled environment.
It’s important to maintain a clean, controlled environment when preparing and administering PRP. Use gloves, gowns, eye protection, personal protective equipment and engineering controls to safeguard against blood splatter, blood leakage and potential exposure to blood-borne pathogens.
Be mindful of all glass, as it has the potential to break and compromise the safety of the procedure.
4. Ensure proper handling of sample collections and discard.
Handle all biologic samples and blood collection sharps according to the policies and procedures of your facility. Obtain appropriate medical attention in the event of any exposure to biologic samples—for example, through a puncture injury—since they may transmit blood-borne pathogens or other infectious diseases. Utilize any built-in used needle protector, if the blood collection device provides one.
Transferring a sample from a syringe to a tube is also not recommended. Further manipulation of sharps increases the potential for needlestick injury, additionally, depressing syringe plunger during transfer can create a positive pressure, forcefully displacing the stopper and sample, causing a potential blood exposure.
Using a syringe for blood transfer may also cause over or under¬filling of tubes, resulting in an incorrect blood-to-additive ratio and potentially incorrect analytic results. Tubes with draw volume smaller than the apparent indicated dimensions may not be filled to their stated volume when filled from a syringe.
Medical providers should employ an aseptic technique when doing PRP procedures. Never delegate PRP to a non-medical professional or staff person who is not trained to handle biologics.
5. Educate patients about potential side effects.
It’s important to help patients understand the potential side effects of any treatment. The recipient should be aware that damage to blood vessels, hematoma, or irritation may occur following a PRP treatment.
To learn more about the science of PRP and how this innovative therapy can grow your practice, download our guide.