The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) announced that it is now producing pathogen reduced platelets using the INTERCEPT Blood System. The new platelet processing method provides additional safeguards to protect patients and keep the regional blood supply safe. CBCC provides over 12,000 platelet and 22,000 plasma units annually to 27 hospitals throughout the Central Piedmont region of North & South Carolina.
Through an agreement with Cerus Corporation, CBCC will use the INTERCEPT Blood System to inactivate a broad spectrum of bacteria and viruses to reduce the risk of TTI (transfusion-transmitted infection) in platelet and plasma components.
“This is an exciting time for the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas,” said Martin Grable, president and CEO of CBCC. “We are always working towards safer and higher quality products for the hospitals and patients we serve. The INTERCEPT treated platelets and plasma that we are collecting will enable us to offer an ever safer choice of blood components in the Carolinas.”
Dr. Edward Lipford, M.D., CBCC Medical Director noted that, “While current screening tests have lowered the risks from transfusion transmitted illness and disease, tests are reactive, requiring identification of specific pathogens for which we must then develop and implement tests. Pathogen reduction by inactivation is a proactive safety measure.” The process neutralizes clinically relevant pathogens present in platelet and plasma components independently of whether they have been identified as specific blood supply risks.
Adds Grable, “With the emergence of new pathogens such as dengue, chikungnya, and now Zika, pathogen reduced platelets will become an important tool to help sustain the platelet supply and protect patients against the risk of these new and emerging threats.”
Although there have been no reports to date of Zika virus entering the U.S. blood supply, with the current outbreak of Zika in other countries, the FDA issued the following recommendations to reduce the risk for Zika virus blood transmission in the United States, including preparing platelets and plasma using an FDA-approved, pathogen-reduction device.
“The proactive approach that the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas has taken for platelets will allow our blood center to continue collecting and preparing platelets and plasma if there happened to be an active Zika virus transmission in our community,” said Grable.
To make a whole blood or platelet donation appointment, visit www.cbcc.us or call 704-972-4700.
Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products company focused in the field of blood safety. The INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections by inactivating a broad range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites that may be present in donated blood. The nucleic acid targeting mechanism of action of the INTERCEPT treatment is designed to inactivate established transfusion threats, such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV, West Nile Virus and bacteria, as well as emerging pathogens such as chikungunya, malaria and dengue. Cerus currently markets and sells the INTERCEPT Blood System for both platelets and plasma in the United States, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and selected countries in other regions around the world. The INTERCEPT red blood cell system is in clinical development. See http://www.cerus.com for information about Cerus.
INTERCEPT and the INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.
About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 27 regional hospitals, serving 20 North Carolina and three South Carolina counties. CBCC focuses exclusively on gathering red blood cells, platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives here in the Carolinas. Every drop stays here, saving local lives. CBCC is a member of America’s Blood Centers, North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood centers providing more than 50% of the nation’s blood supply.
For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in your area, visit www.cbcc.us or call 704-972-4700.