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Blood Disorders News

New Hemophilia A Treatment, Hemlibra (Emicizumab-kxwh), Stems Bleeding Episodes

Posted 16 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2017 – Hemlibra (emicizumab-kxwh) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent or reduce the number of bleeding episodes among certain people with hemophilia A. The injected drug was approved for patients with antibodies called Factor VIII inhibitors. People with hemophilia A are missing a gene that produces Factor VIII, a blood-clotting protein. Hemophilia affects about one of 5,000 babies born in the United States, some 80 percent of whom have Hemophilia A, the FDA said Thursday in a news release. Most babies born with the genetic disease are male. Hemophilia A can trigger episodes of bleeding into the joints, leading to severe damage. Some people with the disease develop antibodies that interfere with standard treatments. "Today's approval provides a new preventive treatment that has been shown to significantly reduce the number of ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Hemophilia A, Hemlibra, Hemophilia A with Inhibitors, Emicizumab

Your Blood Type May Determine How Smog Affects Your Heart

Posted 14 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 14, 2017 – People with certain blood types are at increased risk for a heart attack from high levels of air pollution, a new study finds. Specifically, people with coronary artery disease who have A, B or AB blood types are more likely than those with the O blood type to have a heart attack when exposed to high levels of small particulate PM2.5 air pollution. That is described by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as inhalable particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller. Most people won't have a heart attack unless they have coronary artery disease. And even then it's not inevitable, the researchers said in a news release from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City. "You have to have other characteristics for coronary disease to progress to a heart attack," lead investigator Benjamin Horne, a clinical epidemiologist at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Respiratory Tract Disease

Binge-Watchers, Beware: All That TV Time Poses Clot Risk

Posted 13 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 12, 2017 – If you love to while away a weekend watching a season's worth of episodes from a favorite TV series, you may inadvertently put yourself at risk for developing a dangerous blood clot. When researchers compared people who reported watching TV more often to those who seldom or never watched TV, the risk of a venous thromboembolism (VTE) jumped by 70 percent. A VTE is a type of blood clot that can block blood flow in a vein, according to the American Heart Association. "I don't think TV watching itself is an evil thing, but everything in moderation," said study co-author Dr. Mary Cushman. She's a professor of medicine at the University of Vermont's Larner Medical College. "Think about how you're spending your time, and see if you can take advantage of your TV time to get some activity in," advised Cushman. Her own solution? Walking on her treadmill when she watches ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Deep Vein Thrombosis, Deep Vein Thrombosis - First Event, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Recurrent Event, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prophylaxis, Coagulation Defects and Disorders

Zelboraf Approved for Rare Blood Cancer

Posted 7 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 6, 2017 – Zelboraf (vemurafenib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first drug to treat Erdheim-Chester Disease, a rare but deadly blood cancer. The approval covers patients who have a genetic mutation called BRAF V600. Erdheim-Chester Disease is a slow-growing cancer that originates in bone marrow, causing a spike in a type of white blood cell called a histiocyte. This can spur tumors that develop in the heart, lung, brain and elsewhere, the FDA said Monday in a news release. The cancer only affects about 700 people worldwide, about half of whom have the BRAF V600 mutation. Life expectancy is short among patients, the agency said. "This [drug] was first approved in 2011 to treat certain patients with melanoma [skin cancer] that harbor the BRAF V600 mutation, and we are now bringing the therapy to patients with a rare cancer with no approved ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Cancer, Zelboraf, Vemurafenib, Erdheim-Chester Disease

Health Tip: Giving Blood

Posted 4 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Donating blood for the first time may sound intimidating. But the process is fairly painless, takes only about 20 minutes and could help save a life. The American Red Cross explains the different types of blood donation: Whole blood – The most common and quickest type of donation, involving a pint of whole blood. The donation is typically separated into transfusable components, including red cells, plasma and platelets. Red cells – Red blood cells are the most frequently transfused part of blood. In this type of collection, only the red blood cells are collected and most of the platelets and plasma are returned to the donor. Platelet – Platelet donations take longer than whole-blood donations. During this procedure, an apheresis machine collects platelets and returns red cells and the majority of the plasma back to the donor. Platelets are an important part of some cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Bleeding Disorder, Anemia, Blood Transfusion, von Willebrand's Disease, Hemophilia, Anemia Associated with Chronic Disease, Blood Cell Transplantation

Drone Sets New Record for Transporting Blood Samples

Posted 20 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – A new distance record for delivery of blood samples by a medical drone has been set. A Johns Hopkins University drone transported dozens of human blood samples across 161 miles of Arizona desert. Throughout the three-hour flight, proper temperature control was maintained and the samples were usable for laboratory testing after reaching their destination. "We expect that in many cases, drone transport will be the quickest, safest and most efficient option to deliver some biological samples to a laboratory from rural or urban settings," senior study author Dr. Timothy Amukele said in a university news release. Amukele is an assistant professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins. He noted that drones can operate where there are no roads and overcome obstacles to timely diagnosis and care. "Drones are likely to be the 21st century's best medical sample delivery ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Diagnosis and Investigation, Coagulation Defects and Disorders

There May Be a Big Medical Upside to Being Short

Posted 6 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – There may be at least one advantage to being short: a lower risk for dangerous blood clots in the veins, a new study shows. These clots, called venous thromboembolisms, include blockages known as DVTs (deep vein thrombosis), which typically start in the legs and can travel to the lungs, raising a person's odds for stroke. Sometimes DVTs occur after long-haul flights, so they've been dubbed "economy class syndrome." But new research suggests a slight advantage for shorter people in avoiding the clots. Why the effect? "It could just be that because taller individuals have longer leg veins there is more surface area where problems can occur," theorized study lead author Dr. Bengt Zoller. "There is also more gravitational pressure in leg veins of taller persons that can increase the risk of blood flow slowing or temporarily stopping," noted Zoller, an associate ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Blood Disorders, Depo-Provera, Nexplanon, Mirena, NuvaRing, Provera, Sprintec, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Plan B One-Step, Loestrin 24 Fe, Ortho Evra, Ischemic Stroke, TriNessa, Mononessa, Lutera

Tocilizumab Beats Steroids for Controlling Blood Vessel Inflammation in Study

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2017 – The drug tocilizumab performs better than steroids in treating the most common form of blood vessel inflammation known as giant cell arteritis, a new study has shown. The phase 3 clinical trial of 251 patients confirmed that tocilizumab (Actemra) reduced symptoms and also the need for high-dose steroid treatment for the condition. Phase 3 clinical trials represent the last phase before approval for general use. They compare the safety and effectiveness of the new treatment against the current standard treatment. The trial results led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent approval of tocilizumab to treat giant cell arteritis. It's the first new treatment for arterial inflammation in more than 50 years. "Giant cell arteritis affects around 250,000 individuals in the U.S. alone, targeting people over the age of 50, and is three times more likely in ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Giant Cell Arteritis, Actemra, Tocilizumab

FDA Approves New Drug, Endari, for Sickle Cell Disease

Posted 7 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first new drug for sickle cell disease in nearly two decades. Endari (L-glutamine oral powder) helps reduce severe complications associated with the blood disorder, the agency said. Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder in which the red blood cells are shaped like a sickle, which limits the flow of vital oxygen to organs and tissues. In turn, this triggers severe pain and organ damage. Approximately 100,000 Americans, mostly minorities, have sickle cell disease, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "Endari is the first treatment approved for patients with sickle cell disease in almost 20 years," said Dr. Richard Pazdur, acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Until now, only one other drug was ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Bleeding Disorder, Anemia, Anemia - Sickle Cell, Coagulation Defects and Disorders

Blood Shortage Prompts Call for Donations

Posted 6 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 – The American Red Cross needs your blood, and it needs it now. The group issued an emergency call for donations on Wednesday. Over the past two months, there have been about 61,000 fewer donations than what is needed, the organization said. "The decline in summer donations is causing a significant draw-down of our overall blood supply, and we urgently need people to give now to restock hospital shelves and help save lives," said Shaun Gilmore, president of Red Cross Biomedical Services. The July 4th holiday has been especially challenging: Nearly 700 fewer blood drives were held this week than during an average week. That's the equivalent of no blood drives nationwide for an entire day, the agency explained. "Every day, patients recovering from accidents or those receiving treatments for cancer or blood disorders rely on lifesaving blood products, regardless of ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Bleeding Disorder, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Blood Transfusion, Thalassemia, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Blood Cell Transplantation

Astronauts' Blood Vessels Less Efficient on Long Missions: Study

Posted 12 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Astronauts' heart and blood vessel function drops during long space missions, which limits their ability to exercise, a new study finds. Researchers examined data gathered from nine men and women who spent about six months on the International Space Station. Before their missions, the astronauts did a stationary bike exercise, which they repeated after returning to Earth. Comparing before-and-after results showed that their heart and small blood vessels became less effective at transporting oxygen to muscles. The result: A drop of 30 percent to 50 percent in their exercise capacity, the researchers reported. "It is a dramatic decrease," said study co-author Carl Ade, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at Kansas State University. "When your cardiovascular function decreases, your aerobic exercise capacity goes down. You can't perform physically ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Heart Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease

Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivors Face Risk of Second Cancer: Study

Posted 13 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 13, 2017 – The risk of developing a second type of cancer may be high among Hodgkin lymphoma survivors, especially those with a family history of cancer. That's the finding of a new European study in which researchers examined data from more than 9,500 Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Hodgkin lymphoma, once known as Hodgkin's disease, is a cancer that starts in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are part of the immune system, according to the American Cancer Society. "The vast majority of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma are cured with a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy," said study author Amit Sud, a clinical research fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. "Our research has shown that these patients are at substantially increased risk of a second cancer later in life – and particularly if they have a family history of cancer," Sud ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Hodgkin's Lymphoma

'Ablation' Procedure Helps 3 out of 4 Patients With Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 25 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 – Just how successful is the procedure called catheter ablation at fixing irregular heartbeats that can be potentially fatal? Pretty successful, a new study found, but there are caveats. Burning or freezing specific areas of the heart can alleviate the common irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation in 74 percent of patients. However, the procedure doesn't work for everyone and there are risks of complications, researchers report. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of early death by two times in women and 1.5 times in men. It causes 20 to 30 percent of all strokes and can decrease quality of life due to palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness and psychological distress, the study authors explained. About 2.7 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, according to the American Heart Association. For those whose atrial ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Atrial Fibrillation, Coumadin, Arrhythmia, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Atrial Tachycardia, Dicumarol, Argatroban, Refludan, Desirudin, Angiomax, Lepirudin, Iprivask, Anisindione

Blood Shortage Prompts Red Cross Call for Donations

Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 6, 2017 – Blood donations to the American Red Cross have slumped recently, so donors are desperately needed, the organization says. "Hospital patients need lifesaving blood this winter, and they're relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to provide hope in the days and weeks ahead," said Chris Hrouda, executive vice president of Red Cross Blood Services. "The Red Cross is doing everything it can to ensure blood products are available on the shelves when patients need it, but we can't do it alone," Hrouda said in a Red Cross news release. "We need eligible individuals to give blood and platelets as soon as possible." In the United States, the Red Cross is responsible for about 40 percent of the blood supply. However, roughly 37,000 fewer donors gave during November and December, the agency said. Along with the hectic holiday season, severe weather hampered donations ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Blood Transfusion, Blood Cell Transplantation

Blood Banks Face Seasonal Shortages, New Screening Rules

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 – There's typically a shortage of both blood and platelets during the holiday season. But, tighter testing for a rare complication of transfusions makes the need for platelets even more urgent, experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas say. Platelets are a component of blood that are essential for clotting. The complication, called transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), is the leading cause of death due to transfusions, the experts said. "One reason the supply of blood platelets has decreased is that we now have additional required testing of platelets after donation," said Dr. Thomas Froehlich, medical director at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Blood and platelet shortages are traditionally common during the holidays. The shortages put cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, trauma victims and people with health issues that ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Bleeding Disorder, Anemia, Blood Transfusion, Folic Acid Deficiency, Bleeding Associated with Coagulation Defect, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Anemia Associated with Chronic Disease, Blood Cell Transplantation

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