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Documentary Examining Deadly Blood Disorders and Lifesaving Research to Premiere on Discovery Health
Date:11/12/2008

BLOOD DETECTIVES - a documentary from Peabody-Award-winning filmmaker Joseph Lovett - premieres December 19 at 7:00 PM ET/PT on Discovery Health

Trailer available at http://www.blooddetectives.org.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Peabody-Award-winning filmmaker, Joseph Lovett, in conjunction with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) presents BLOOD DETECTIVES, an hour-long documentary airing on Discovery Health on December 19, 2008, at 7:00 PM ET/PT and again at 12:00 AM ET/PT. BLOOD DETECTIVES focuses on the medical mysteries and lifesaving work of highly specialized doctors, hematologists, as they race against time to unravel medical mysteries and save lives, from leukemia to blood clots and more.

BLOOD DETECTIVES is the centerpiece of a new public education campaign from ASH that aims to educate audiences on how their blood affects their total health. The campaign also hopes to underscore the importance of recognizing the warning signs of some of the more common -- and sometimes deadly -- blood diseases.

It is estimated that more Americans die each year of a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that becomes lodged in the lungs, preventing adequate blood flow) than from breast cancer, HIV disease, and motor-vehicle crashes combined -- however, most people are unaware of the warning signs. In addition, a blood-clotting disorder known as antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) causes one in four early miscarriages, yet most women are completely unfamiliar with the disorder.

BLOOD DETECTIVES profiles a diverse group of patients, including:

-- Alexandria, a 17-year-old girl with sickle cell anemia who suffered a

"silent stroke"

-- Ezra, age 6, who almost died in infancy due to severe, life-threatening

anemia

-- Rebecca, a healthy woman in her mid-30s whose blood-clotting disorder

places both her and her unborn baby at risk

Lovett was inspired to make the film after researching the topic and learning about the connection between blood-related issues and general health.

"We followed the lives and work of these incredible doctors for several months, and the complexity of the work they do treating patients and researching their underlying blood disorders was staggering," he said. "Most people are unaware of how many health issues can be solved and dealt with through blood tests and subsequent treatment by a hematologist."

The show was made possible with the support of ASH and the following Institutes and Center of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Center for Research Resources.

After its premiere on Discovery Health, BLOOD DETECTIVES will be distributed through a grassroots campaign in which individuals and groups will be offered tools to host their own screenings of the film. Information about the film can be found on the consumer awareness campaign Web site, http://www.bloodthevitalconnection.org, which provides hematologist-approved health information.

"Millions of Americans are affected by blood disorders each day," said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, President of the American Society of Hematology. "BLOOD DETECTIVES and http://www.bloodthevitalconnection.org provide these people, as well as family members and others, with the information they need about blood disorders and the doctors who treat them."

BLOOD DETECTIVES Credits:

Executive Producer Joseph Lovett

Produced by Andrea Fleischer and Joseph Lovett

Narrated by Sylvia Chase

Edited by Joseph Comperiati

About the American Society of Hematology

The American Society of Hematology is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The American Society of Hematology's new site, http://www.bloodthevitalconnection.org also provides health resources and tips for consumers and health care professionals on common blood disorders, clinical trials, and other important information.


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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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