Partners Seek to Educate About Pediatric Blood Transfusions

Partners Seek to Educate About Pediatric Blood Transfusions
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To inform sickle cell disease (SCD) patients and their caregivers about blood transfusions, which are commonly used to treat the disorder, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) is launching a set of educational materials.

The pictorial booklet for children, and companion brochure for parents and caregivers, are sponsored by the medical technology company Hemanext.

The collaboration is part of the company’s partnership with the SCDAA, which began last spring. In addition to educational efforts, the alliance is focused on grassroots events and public awareness campaigns.

“During a review of our currently available educational resources, we identified the opportunity to help young sickle cell warriors prepare for their transfusions,” Beverley Francis-Gibson, SCDAA’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “We appreciate that Hemanext has stepped up to help us fill this information need and make a difference breaking the sickle cycle.”

Confusion or lack of knowledge about what transfusions are and how they work can lead to anxiety, the organization stated. The educational materials, which the SCDAA will make available to the SCD community, seeks to remedy that.

“It is a privilege to continue our partnership with Ms. Francis-Gibson and her dedicated team at SCDAA, the premier sickle cell organization,” said Martin Cannon, Hemanext’s president and CEO. “We are committed to helping SCDAA achieve its mission and enhance the lives of members of the sickle cell community.”

Around 100,000 U.S. residents are affected by SCD, an inherited blood disorder that causes painful and sometimes life-threatening complications such as stroke. To help ease symptoms or prevent complications, patients often require red blood cell transfusions.

These transfusions are used to provide patients with normal red blood cells to help lessen anemia and lower the viscosity of their blood, allowing it to flow more freely. The procedures are not without risk as they can lead to complications of their own, including immunological reactions and iron overload (excessive iron buildup in the body).

The Hematology Society released new clinical guidelines last year on the use of blood transfusions in SCD. The guidance provides direction on the specific indications, administration mode, prevention, and management of complications associated with transfusions.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Joana holds a BSc in Biology, a MSc in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Her work has been focused on the impact of non-canonical Wnt signaling in the collective behavior of endothelial cells — cells that made up the lining of blood vessels — found in the umbilical cord of newborns.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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