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Grant to Impact Patients and Communities Managing Sickle Cell Disease Awarded to University Health Network Apheresis Program in Toronto, Canada

6/19/2019

Lakewood, Colo., USA19 June 2018—With an increasingly diverse population and growing need for the management of sickle cell disease, the University Health Network (UHN) Apheresis Program in Toronto, Canada is using red blood cell exchange with peripheral vascular access to treat patients. Terumo BCT recently awarded the Advancing Apheresis Award to the UHN Apheresis Program, which is using the $10,000 educational grant to help fund its Ultrasound-Guided Peripheral Venous Access Training Program.

The Advancing Apheresis Award is part of Terumo BCT's commitment to support those who improve patient care using therapeutic apheresis. Terumo BCT is a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular therapy technologies.

UHN is home to Canada's largest apheresis program and regularly treats numerous patients with sickle cell disease using automated red blood cell exchange. UHN is moving toward making ultrasound-guided venous access its standard of care.

In addition to funding teaching programs, the grant will help UHN purchase phantom arms for training and skills maintenance, develop electronic training materials and collect data for analysis. UHN's plan is to use the data and analysis in a publication demonstrating its outcomes.

We have the potential to spread these training efforts across UHN and to other apheresis nurses across Canada. Many people may benefit from this work, including patients with sickle cell disease and others needing apheresis treatments who struggle with peripheral access issues.

             -Dr. David Barth, Director, Therapeutic Apheresis and Stem Cell Collection Program, UHN

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that can cause pain and may put patients at increased risk for infections and stroke, according to Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology. The disease causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape, and it especially affects people with ancestors from Africa, India, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Peripheral vascular access is an option when performing red blood cell exchange, an effective treatment for the management of sickle cell disease that can be performed on Terumo BCT's Spectra Optia® Apheresis System. Peripheral vascular access uses the veins in a person's arms to deliver a treatment. Ultrasound helps locate the veins. Peripheral vascular access, according to apheresis literature, should generally be the first choice in red blood cell exchange procedures whenever possible because of the low rate of complications.1,2

We are committed to increasing our impact on patients' lives. UHN's leadership in this area will drive better outcomes for patients with sickle cell disease. With eventual publication and sharing of best practices, this effort has the potential to help enhance current standards of care by using peripheral vascular access so we can all better support this underserved patient population.

            -Regis Leonard, Vice President, Therapeutic Systems, Terumo BCT


1AABB and ASFA. Therapeutic Apheresis: A Physician's Handbook. 5th ed. Bethesda, MD: AABB;2017:205.

2Kalantari K. The choice of vascular access for therapeutic apheresis. J Clin Apher. 2012:27(3):153-159.


About Terumo BCT 
Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular therapy technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing, and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers.​

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