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THERAFLEX UV-Platelets: An opportunity for blood donation services

Dr. Veronika Brixner, Head of the Frankfurt am Main Production Department of the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service for Baden Wuerttemberg – Hessen.

Pathogen inactivation without the need for a reagent would offer real benefits to donation services and patients, according to Dr. Veronika Brixner, Head of the Frankfurt am Main Production Department of the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service for Baden Wuerttemberg – Hessen.

What are the practical advantages of preparing thrombocyte concentrates using UV-C technology?

VB: “The lack of chemical additives is important, as many people still have concerns about the byproducts. In Germany, if approved by our authorities, the system would also allow us to store thrombocytes for five days, instead of four – and that would be a major advantage. It would make it a lot easier for organizations like ours to cover public holidays or shortages of donations, and would also help hospitals, especially smaller ones, to manage their stock and to reduce the discard of concentrates.”

100% pathogen reduction for platelet concentrates while maintaining acceptable platelet function would solve some problems and lead to a higher quality of blood product.”

How important is it for blood donation services to prepare platelets quickly?

VB: “I think it’s very important. Since blood in our donation service isn’t usually donated at weekends, Tuesday is a very busy day for the Red Cross here as we are preparing thrombocytes from Monday’s donations. So, concentrates could either leave without pathogen inactivation for platelets, or they would leave us after an incubation time of 4 hours or even longer. If the THERAFLEX UV-Platelets system is shown to be clinically efficient, pathogen reduction of platelets without the delay for incubation might become feasible.”

What kind of impact could the THERAFLEX UV-Platelets system have on an organization like yours?

CY: “It will depend on the percentage of thrombocytes that are suitable for the system. We are producing THERAFLEX UV-Platelets on a small scale, exclusively for the use within a clinical trial. For routine production, the specifications for the volume, concentration and protein content of the thrombocytes would need to be a bit broader.

I know that Prof. Axel Seltsam and his team are working to broaden the specification..

100% pathogen reduction for platelet concentrates while maintaining acceptable platelet function would solve some problems and lead to a higher quality of blood product, as there are still incidents of bacterial contamination of concentrate and it would be very helpful if we could improve in this area.”