By Sean Marshall
Major advancements for children undergoing blood transfusions to combat their sickle cell disease. According to a Cincinnati radio news station, 91.7 WVXU there could be a safer and easier way to treat sickle cell disease instead of the traditional blood transfusion methods.
It was explained that the Cincinnati Childcare’s Hospital is in it’s “clinical trial of a medicine know as hydroxyurea.” It was explained by Russell Ware, the director of haematology, that the drug is suppose to be “as good as blood transfusions but without the cost and negative side effects.” The drug works because “it changes the way children make blood, the bllod cells essential stay rounded instead of becoming sickle shaped.”
Hydroxyurea had it’s clinical trails conduced at “25 medical centres in the U.S.A and Canada.” It was also mentioned hydroxyura was compared “to the standard therapy of monthly blood transfusions with the alternative of talking a daily pill of hydroxyurea.”
Lastly it stated that The National Heart, Lung and Blood Insensitive “halted its recent trial a year early because its findings were so conclusive.”
If you would like to read the full article or even listen to a summary visit the link: http://wvxu.org/post/major-advancement-sickle-cell-patients
Other news this week included a machine that learns who is most likely to give blood and why. Newsscientist.com is reporting that in New York a team of scientists are devloping a machine that will explain the types of individuals who donate blood and the reasons behind this. Why so that “authorities can better encourage people to donate blood more frequently.”
It was stated that “the project is aimed at improving the turnout of African Americans, who are disproportionately less likely to donate or become regular donors.” It was further explained that “race does not play a relevant part but for standard blood transfusions type B is more common among African American people.”
This all relates to sickle cell disease because the group of officials working on the project feel that “also. Ethnicity may help provide a match for blood transfusions to people with sickle cell disease.”
The machine will be put in place on the first of February and the data collected will chose who to call and how to best appeal to them.
The issue does however have some issues concerning data mining, the often controversial act in which a company or in this case blood clinic keeps personal data of customers with the intent on using that data later on for a profit or other gain. Usually data mining is considering deplorable because the end result is huge financial gain for a company. However in this case when the huge gain is saving lives there might be some leeway.
If you would like to see the original article you can find it here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530062.300-blood-bank-data-turns-donations-into-a-numbers-game.html#.VM01Q2jF87c
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