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Critical blood shortages eased by new technology

East Hills, NY (Sept. 19, 2007) -- Each year in the U.S. millions of blood donors see a critical part of their donation literally go down the drain. Of the 14.4 million units of whole blood collected annually, a majority (about two-thirds) of the four million whole blood-derived platelet concentrates are discarded. Many blood banks are replacing this valuable resource with much more expensive single donor (apheresis) platelets. Yet there is no medical requirement or clear need to do so. Today Pall Corporation (NYSE: PLL) is working closely with leading blood banks to change this outdated practice. They are adopting Palls Acrodose™ PL System to efficiently increase the availability of safe platelets for transfusion by making use of the abundant resource of whole blood-derived platelets.

The margin between supply of blood products and demand is smaller than it has ever been. With more stringent screening procedures and donor restrictions along with an aging population, this margin is forecasted to decrease each year. As the donor pool continues to shrink, the risk of blood shortages to our nation increases. Since the U.S. blood supply is dependent on the generosity of volunteer donors, experts urge using their valuable contribution more wisely. This means applying technology that allows blood banks to not waste important blood resources. Several patients can benefit from a single unit of donated whole blood with up to four blood components derived from each unit. The Acrodose PL System provides a new approach to efficiently use whole blood to make safe platelets more readily available.

The resulting AcrodoseSM Platelet is an innovative product that can provide significant advantages over single-donor platelets and other whole blood-derived platelet products. Acrodose Platelets are leukocyte (white blood cell) reduced, matched for blood type and tested for bacteria using a sensitive culture-based system, the same type of state-of- the- art systems that are used to test single-donor platelets. This transfusion-ready, therapeutic dose of platelets is clinically equivalent in terms of platelet count and quality to those derived from apheresis, but at a lower cost.

The use of culture testing has added a new standard of care to whole blood-derived platelets making their safety from bacterial contamination, the leading infectious cause of morbidity and mortality associated with platelets, comparable to apheresis derived platelets, says Joseph Sweeney, MD, Director of Transfusion Medicine and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Blood centers that incorporate the Acrodose PL System into their process no longer have to trade off between platelet safety and availability.

Platelets, used to aid blood clotting, are in high demand for people with leukemia, blood disorders or cancer; recipients of bone marrow or organ transplants and accident, burn and trauma victims. Platelets are a valuable resource that must be transfused within five days of collection before expiring. Reliance on single-donor platelets which are expensive and time-consuming to collect may lead to blood shortages and cause strains on hospitals to meet patient needs.

Five or Seven Day Platelet

Shortages in platelet supply have led some blood centers to consider use of platelets stored longer than five days to help improve platelet availability. Studies have shown that platelets at greatest risk for transfusion-associated bacterial sepsis have the longest storage age. According to a report in the August 2007 issue of Transfusion, there is also a strong correlation between storage age with the severity of the resulting sepsis. (Sepsis is a severe infection of the blood and tissues which can lead to shock, organ failure and death.)

Extending platelet storage from 5 to 7 days can result in an increase in transfusionassociated sepsis and also require additional testing, increasing expense, time and handling costs. With the Acrodose PL System, blood centers and hospitals will be able to efficiently reduce the problem of platelet availability without having to consider using 7-day storage platelets.


Contact: Marybeth Nibley
Pall Corporation

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