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Press Release

Grant Offered to Impact Patients and Communities Managing Sickle Cell Disease

Red blood cell exchange, Spectra Optia Aphresis System

Lakewood, Colo., USA15 October 2018—Applications are now available for the Terumo BCT 2018 Advancing Apheresis educational grant, which this year is open to a healthcare provider who treats patients with sickle cell disease using red blood cell exchange with peripheral vascular access.

"This grant is an opportunity to improve access to care and achieve better outcomes for patients with sickle cell disease.  By helping healthcare providers to meet and enhance current standards of practices for peripheral vascular access, we can better support this underserved patient population."

                                                                                   Regis Leonard, Vice President, Therapeutic Systems, Terumo BCT

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.

Now in its fifth year, the Advancing Apheresis grant 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.

How Can the Grant Money be Used?

The Advancing Apheresis USD $10,000 grant has a different focus each year. Past winners have used the money for trainings and equipment purchases for further research and studies, but it is open for other possible uses related to advancing peripheral vascular access in sickle cell disease patients. The grant winner will be chosen by an external Terumo BCT committee, which includes a patient with sickle cell disease, physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Considerations include patient care, impact to the community and the applicant's history of demonstrating educational leadership. The application deadline is 30 November 2018. Applicants can learn more at TERUMOBCT.COM/AdvancingApheresis.

Peripheral vascular access is an option when performing red blood cell exchange, an effective treatment for the management of sickle cell disease that is performed on the Spectra Optia® Apheresis System. Peripheral vascular access uses the veins in a person's arm to deliver a treatment. 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  

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.

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.

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