Platelet transfusions have been shown to prevent major haemorrhage and improve survival in thrombocytopenic patients. Since then, advances in the preparation of platelet components, including the introduction of pathogen reduction techniques, have been achieved. The number of transfused platelet components is still growing owing to the increasing number of patients treated for haemato-oncological diseases. Additionally, indications have been extended, for example to patients with drug-induced platelet dysfunction. This review focuses on current platelet component production and storage techniques, including pathogen reduction, indications for platelet transfusion and safety issues including alloimmunisation and management of platelet refractoriness.