Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

VUMC Begins Using Leukoreduced Blood For All Patients

Date:
October 1, 1998
Source:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Summary:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has become one of the first academic medical centers to use leukoreduced blood products, which can carry disease and suppress the human body's immune system, for all patients in the medical center.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has become one of the first academic medical centers in the nation — and the only hospital in the region — to expand the use of leukoreduced blood products to all patients.

These products are filtered to remove plasma and white blood cells, or leukocytes, which can carry disease, cause transfusion reactions and suppress the human body's immune system.

Previously, leukoreduced blood has been used only on those patients who require chronic transfusions or are very immune-suppressed, such as bone marrow transplant patients.

"Leukoreduced blood is going to become the standard for the entire nation," said Dr. Anne T. Thomas, assistant professor of Pathology and Medicine and director of Vanderbilt's Blood Bank. "In addition to being safer for patients it has the potential for saving money by reducing postoperative infections."

In September, VUMC became one of only a handful of institutions to expand the use of leukoreduced blood to all of its patients, instead of limiting their use to a few of the sickest patients.

One of the main concerns during transfusions for bone marrow transplant patients is the production of HLA antibodies, which can cause several problems following transfusion. They can cause fever, contribute to transplanted tissue rejection and render a patient unresponsive to vital platelet transfusions used to control or prevent bleeding.

In normal cases, white blood cells fight infection in the body. During blood transfusions or tissue transplants, the donor's white blood cells can induce the patient to form these HLA antibodies. The leukocytes can also produce reactions to blood products via chemicals called cytokines that they release into the product during storage.

"White blood cells can also carry diseases such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), which most all of us carry and usually causes nothing more then a cold-type illness. In patients whose immune system is disturbed in some way, the virus can be fatal," said Thomas.

The risk of CMV has receded as hospitals began using leukoreduced blood for patients with compromised immune systems. It is hoped that by using leukoreduced blood for a hospital's entire patient population, the number of postoperative infections and the amount of antibiotics used for each patient can be reduced.

"There have been studies that show leukoreduced blood helps reduce infections for patients undergoing elective surgeries. These were all very well controlled conditions. Further study of these blood products is needed to determine if they will help other patients in the hospital," said Thomas.

Trauma patients are one population that Thomas hopes to study once the leukoreduced blood is in use throughout the hospital. One of the major complications with these patients is that their injuries often lead to infection. These infections can be life threatening and often linger once the initial surgery is completed.

"Studying effects of this blood in the emergency room is something that we think is important even if we will not be able to have a double blind study," said Thomas.

The donation process itself will remain unchanged for those donating blood. After the blood is collected into one bag, it is then filtered into three different bags.

Once the process is complete there are three separate blood products in each bag: leukoreduced red blood cells, leukoreduced platelets, and leukoreduced plasma.

"If you ask a blood banker — or really anyone who knows about blood products — which they would rather get if they need a transfusion, they will tell you they want leukoreduced blood," said Thomas.

"This is not only better for our patients but in the long run could save us some money by reducing postoperative infections and the number of intravenous antibacterial drugs that we have to give our patients for those infections."

All of VUMC's leukoreduced blood will be provided by the American Red Cross and filtered with a system from the Pall, Corporation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "VUMC Begins Using Leukoreduced Blood For All Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980930115929.htm>.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (1998, October 1). VUMC Begins Using Leukoreduced Blood For All Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980930115929.htm
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "VUMC Begins Using Leukoreduced Blood For All Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980930115929.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins