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Evaluation of a scoring system for vein suitability in platelet apheresis donors.

INTRODUCTION: Donor vein assessment for the selection of good quality veins is crucial for a successful apheresis procedure. This study intends to find out the effectiveness of a vein assessment scoring tool (VST) used and found to be effective in selecting whole blood donors to reduce the difficulty in identifying good quality veins for the plateletpheresis procedure.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective observational study on platelet apheresis donors with the application of a VST consisting of three vein descriptor parameters (vein visibility, vein palpability, and vein size) with 5 Likert-type responses constituting a score of 0-12 for each arm. Two vein assessors independently evaluated the vein in both arms and marked their responses blinded from each other as well from the principal investigator. The scores were then calculated and analyzed at the end of the study for their association with phlebotomy and procedural outcomes.

RESULTS: A total of 190 donors were recruited. The mean scores for the arms with successful and failed phlebotomy were 9.1 and 9.4 (SD 2.3), respectively. The intra-class correlation Alpha Cronbach value was 0.834 and 0.837 for total scoring in the left arm and right arm, respectively, between the two assessors. Scores neither showed a correlation with other outcomes like low flow alarms, hematoma formation, number of phlebotomy attempts, and procedure completion.

CONCLUSION: The study showed that the vein score tool did not truly predict the phlebotomy outcome in apheresis donors, though there was a good degree of inter-assessor reliability.

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