APAGBI Project Grant

The successful applicants for the APAGBI Project Grant were:

Principal Applicant
Dr Dannie Seddon
Birmingham Children's Hospital

Platelet function in paediatric cardiac patients after cardiopulmonary bypass and Extra-Corporeal Life Support (ECLS)

£ 19,556

Scientific Abstract
Congenital cardiac disease is common, with around 4,600 babies born each year in the UK with cardiac defects.

Over 6,000 cardiac surgeries are performed each year in children, with the majority requiring cardio-pulmonary bypass. In addition to this an increasing number of children's hearts are supported for a longer time period using Extra-Corporeal Life Support (ECLS). Haemostatic complications of cardio-pulmonary bypass and ECLS are common and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Those patients that can haemorrhage and produce thrombus concurrently are particularly at risk. This group make up approximately one third of the children supported with ECLS internationally. The mechanisms of these haemostatic complications are poorly understood.

Platelets have a central role in haemostasis, and the extra-corporeal circuits affect both their function and number. In children little research has been undertaken in this field, principally because the assays used to test platelet function require large volumes of blood.

This study will use a small volume assay that has been validated against the gold standard platelet function tests in order to better understand the mechanisms of haemostatic disturbance associated with cardio-pulmonary bypass and ECLS. In addition to platelet function we will also identify the immature platelet fraction, which will give more information about the turnover of platelets in this population.
It is hoped that not only will this research provide information in an area which has been previously difficult to study, but also allow tailoring of treatments to reduce the haemostatic risk associated with cardiac support.