Last updated: 03/04/2015
Replacement of Isolated Factor Deficiencies
FFP is efficacious for treatment of deficiencies of factors II, V, VII, IX, X, and XI when specific component therapy is neither available nor appropriate. Requirements for FFP vary with the specific factor being replaced. For example, hemostatic levels of factor IX in a patient with severe deficiency are difficult to achieve with FFP alone, whereas patients with severe factor X deficiency require factor levels of about 10 percent to achieve hemostasis and are easily treated with FFP.
Reversal of Warfarin Effect
Patients who are anticoagulated with warfarin are deficient in the functional vitamin K dependent coagulation factors II, VII, IX, and X, as well as proteins C and S. These functional deficiencies can be reversed by the administration of vitamin K. However, for anticoagulated patients who are actively bleeding or who require emergency surgery, FFDP (or single-donor plasma) can be used to achieve immediate hemostasis.
Massive Blood Transfusion (>1 Blood Volume Within Several Hours)
Use of FFP in massive blood transfusion, for which there is less credible evidence of efficacy, appears to have increased in frequency in the past decade, possibly due in part to the relative unavailability of whole blood. Pathological hemorrhage in the massively transfused patient is caused more frequently by thrombocytopenia than by depletion of coagulation factors. The empiric use of FFP to reverse hemostatic disorders should be confined to those patients in whom factor deficiencies are presumed to be the sole or principal derangement. There is no evidence that the prophylactic administration of FFP decreases transfusion requirements in multiply transfused patients who do not have documented coagulation defects.
Use in Antithrombin III Deficiency
FFP can be used as a source of antithrombin III in patients who are deficient in this inhibitor and are undergoing surgery or who require heparin for treatment of thrombosis.
Treatment of Immunodeficiencies
FFP is useful in infants with secondary immunodeficiency associated with severe protein-losing enteropathy and in whom total parenteral nutrition is ineffectual. FFP also can be used as a source of immunoglobulin for children and adults with humoral immunodeficiency. However, the development of a purified immune globulin for intravenous use largely has replaced FFP.
Treatment of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
FFP may be beneficial for the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
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