A multidisciplinary, evidence-based blood management initiative at Vanderbilt University Medical Center was associated with a 30% reduction in transfusions of red blood cells, according to data presented at a meeting of the American College of Surgeons. The program covered ordering, transportation and storage, as well as reviews by clinical leaders of monthly reports on wastage.
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The CDC and Florida health officials are investigating the source of a case of Zika virus infection reported in Miami-Dade County. The case does not appear to involve travel to an area where the virus is spreading.
In Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC reflects on the recent Ebola outbreak and the agency's response, noting early action was hindered by a weak public health framework in affected countries and wariness among the public, many of whom did not trust the government or rescue workers. The CDC took measures in West Africa such as establishing local offices and response teams, while moving to protect the US with travel screening, hospital readiness measures, distribution of laboratory tests for Ebola and more.
After the devastating Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, researchers moved into high gear to save human lives, University of Wisconsin researcher David O’Connor among them. His team took the unusual step of sharing results online in real time, helping advance work in other labs, avoiding duplication of certain experiments and rapidly disseminating valuable information, including where the virus hides out in fetuses, the effect of co-infection with dengue, whether previous infection is protective and how long Zika circulates in pregnant females.
Celgene has purchased options to Jounce Therapeutics' lead candidate, JTX-2011, and could acquire options to up to four more cancer immunotherapies in a deal worth up to $2.5 billion. Jounce will receive an upfront payment of $225 million from Celgene, investments worth $36 million and milestone fees valued at up to $2.3 billion if Celgene acquires options to all five drugs.
RedoxTherapies was purchased by Juno Therapeutics in a deal that gives Juno access to vipadenant, a small molecule adenosine A2a receptor antagonist that could potentially disrupt immunosuppressive pathways in some cancerous tumors. Under the terms of the deal, Juno will pay $10 million upfront plus undisclosed milestone fees.
An initiative proposed by Ethiopia in 2013 to develop a pan-African Center for Disease Control and Prevention was adopted by the African Union this year during its 27th summit in Rwanda. The Africa CDC Coordination Office will be responsible for addressing the continent's health challenges by leading the battle against such deadly viral diseases such as Ebola, malaria, HIV-AIDS and Zika.
An infection-control program implemented at all 127 Veterans Affairs acute-care hospitals reduced the rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections by 75% in intensive care units and by two-thirds systemwide. A new study shows that the program also resulted in a 43% decrease in tough-to-eradicate Gram-negative bacterial infections.
The July issue of "AABB News" features an article on how AABB has developed and strengthened partnerships with several accrediting organizations with similar goals, including the College of American Pathologists, The Joint Commission and the Brazilian Society of Transfusion Medicine and Cellular Therapy. These partnerships enable institutions to receive joint accreditation or certification from AABB and at least one other organization. This issue also includes an article highlighting Sebastian Junger's initiative, Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), which teaches life-saving interventions to journalists working in war zones. Additionally, this issue contains biographies of nominees for the 2016-2017 AABB Board of Directors.