Industry Support Grows for Memorial Blood Centers' Blood Donor Safety Research Study

Tue Apr 9, 2013 2:15pm EDT

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ST. PAUL, Minn.,  April 9, 2013  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Memorial Blood
Centers, a national leader in transfusion medicine, today announced the receipt
of a second round of funding-$20,000-from The Foundation for America's Blood
Centers (FABC) that will help further research into blood donor safety. The
two-year Iron Depletion and Replacement in Donors Study is being conducted
jointly with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) of  Davenport,
Iowa  and spearheaded by Dr.  Jed Gorlin, MBC Medical Director and Dr.  Louis
Katz, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs at MVRBC.  

The FABC's initial  $50,000  grant, awarded in early 2012, supported the
research team in designing study protocols, donor recruitment consent forms and
screening questionnaires, and training for collections staff. "Thanks to the
generosity of the FABC, we've had the financial support we needed to prepare the
clinical trial laboratory to receive and process test samples, and to hire and
train two Registered Nurses to serve as Study Coordinators," Dr.  Jed Gorlin 
said. "We also applied for and obtained institutional review board (IRB)
approval to move forward with implementation. And in  December 2012, we began
recruitment and participant education activities, with the ultimate goal of
recruiting a total of two thousand blood donors, 18-years and older, to
participate in the study."  

Across the country, a low hemoglobin level is the most common medical reason why
potential blood donors are deferred from making a donation. While previous
studies have evaluated the efficacy of iron replacement in blood donors who are
deferred because of low hemoglobin, the Iron Depletion and Replacement in Donors
Study includes testing of ferritin-a measure of iron stores-and also offers iron
replacement to donors who qualify for donation but may be at risk of iron
deficiency. As part of the study, participant data is being compared to data
collected under current testing protocols to determine if education and iron
replacement result in decreased rates of subsequent donor deferral-the
overarching goal of the study.  

In addition to funding from the FABC, the Iron Depletion and Replacement in
Donors Study also has received valuable in-kind support from two other industry
leaders:  

CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) has provided a 100-day supply of Ferrous Gluconate iron
supplements for each of the 2,000 study participants.   

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies,
has provided coverage of a service contract on the Ortho ECI testing machine
being used throughout the duration of the study and also has contributed a
majority of the donor testing supplies.  

"We are extremely grateful to all of our industry partners that have rallied in
support of this important study," Dr. Gorlin added. "It is our intent that the
results of the Iron Depletion and Replacement in Donors Study will establish a
nationally scalable program that can be implemented by all other members of
America's Blood Centers. Every blood center across the country will hopefully
benefit from our findings and use this new information to improve blood donor
safety, decrease the number of deferred donors, and ensure that we continue to
maintain a healthy and robust donor base, and continue to help save lives
through blood donation."  

About Memorial Blood Centers
Memorial Blood Centers has been helping to save lives for 65 years as an
independent nonprofit supplying life-saving blood to area hospitals and other
partners throughout the U.S., and providing comprehensive testing and expert
technical services as a national leader in transfusion medicine.  www.MBC.org

About Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center  
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC), founded in the mid-1970s,
serves more than 80 hospital partners throughout  Iowa,  Illinois,  Wisconsin,
and  Missouri, operates 19 donor centers, and hosts 4,000 mobile blood drives
annually.  www.bloodcenter.org

About The Foundation for America's Blood Centers
The Foundation for America's Blood Centers (FABC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, works
in partnership with members of America's Blood Centers to fund initiatives that
improve the availability, quality, and safety of blood and related products-all
to save, extend, or enhance the lives of patients. www.thefabc.org

About CVS/pharmacy
CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the
U.S. with integrated offerings across the entire spectrum of pharmacy care: mail
order pharmacy, retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, and retail medical clinics,
and a leading provider of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. 
www.cvscaremark.com

About Ortho Clinical Diagnostics  
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD) is part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Device
and Diagnostic Companies. A fully integrated, global business comprised of
instruments and tests for transfusion medicine and clinical laboratories,
biomarkers and cellular therapies, and lean consulting services. 
www.orthoclinical.com

SOURCE  Memorial Blood Centers

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