Browsing by Organization "Finnish Red Cross Blood Service"

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  • Hiltunen, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Factor V Leiden (FV Leiden) is the most common inherited thrombophilia in Caucasians increasing the risk for venous thrombosis. Its prevalence in Finland is 2-3%. FV Leiden has also been associated with several pregnancy complications. However, the importance of FV Leiden as their risk factor is unclear. The aim of the study was to assess FV Leiden as a risk factor for pregnancy complications in which prothrombotic mechanisms may play a part. Specifically, the study aimed to assess the magnitude of the risk, if any, associated with FV Leiden for pregnancy-associated venous thrombosis, pre-eclampsia, unexplained stillbirth, and preterm birth. The study was conducted as a nested case-control study within a fixed cohort of 100,000 consecutive pregnant women in Finland. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service and by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. All participants gave written informed consent. Cases and controls were identified by using national registers. The diagnoses of the 100,000 women identified from the National Register of Blood Group and Blood Group Antibodies of Pregnant Women were obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Register. Participants gave blood samples for DNA tests and filled in questionnaires. The medical records of the participants were reviewed in 49 maternity hospitals in Finland. Genotyping was performed in the Finnish Genome Center. When evaluating pregnancy-associated venous thrombosis (34 cases, 641 controls), FV Leiden was associated with 11-fold risk (OR 11.6, 95% CI 3.6-33.6). When only analyzing women with first venous thrombosis, the risk was 6-fold (OR 5.8, 95% CI 1.6-21.8). The risk was increased by common risk factors, the risk being highest in women with FV Leiden and pre-pregnancy BMI over 30 kg/m2 (75-fold), and in women with FV Leiden and age over 35 years (60-fold). When evaluating pre-eclampsia (248 cases, 679 controls), FV Leiden was associated with a trend of increased risk (OR 1.7, 95% CI 0.8-3.9), but the association was not statistically significant. When evaluating unexplained stillbirth (44 cases, 776 controls), FV Leiden was associated with over 3-fold risk (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.2-11.6). When evaluating preterm birth (324 cases, 752 controls), FV Leiden was associated with over 2-fold risk (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3-4.6). FV Leiden was especially associated with late preterm birth (32-36 weeks of gestation), but not with early preterm birth (< 32 weeks of gestation). The results of this large population-based study can be generalized to Finnish women with pregnancies continuing beyond first trimester, and may be applied to Caucasian women in populations with similar prevalence of FV Leiden and high standard prenatal care.
  • Juutistenaho, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Cord blood is a well-established alternative to bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. To this day, over 400 000 unrelated donor cord blood units have been stored in cord blood banks worldwide. To enable successful cord blood transplantation, recent efforts have been focused on finding ways to increase the hematopoietic progenitor cell content of cord blood units. In this study, factors that may improve the selection and quality of cord blood collections for banking were identified. In 167 consecutive cord blood units collected from healthy full-term neonates and processed at a national cord blood bank, mean platelet volume (MPV) correlated with the numbers of cord blood unit hematopoietic progenitors (CD34+ cells and colony-forming units); this is a novel finding. Mean platelet volume can be thought to represent general hematopoietic activity, as newly formed platelets have been reported to be large. Stress during delivery is hypothesized to lead to the mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells through cytokine stimulation. Accordingly, low-normal umbilical arterial pH, thought to be associated with perinatal stress, correlated with high cord blood unit CD34+ cell and colony-forming unit numbers. The associations were closer in vaginal deliveries than in Cesarean sections. Vaginal delivery entails specific physiological changes, which may also affect the hematopoietic system. Thus, different factors may predict cord blood hematopoietic progenitor cell numbers in the two modes of delivery. Theoretical models were created to enable the use of platelet characteristics (mean platelet volume) and perinatal factors (umbilical arterial pH and placental weight) in the selection of cord blood collections with high hematopoietic progenitor cell counts. These observations could thus be implemented as a part of the evaluation of cord blood collections for banking. The quality of cord blood units has been the focus of several recent studies. However, hemostasis activation during cord blood collection is scarcely evaluated in cord blood banks. In this study, hemostasis activation was assessed with prothrombin activation fragment 1+2 (F1+2), a direct indicator of thrombin generation, and platelet factor 4 (PF4), indicating platelet activation. Altogether three sample series were collected during the set-up of the cord blood bank as well as after changes in personnel and collection equipment. The activation decreased from the first to the subsequent series, which were collected with the bank fully in operation and following international standards, and was at a level similar to that previously reported for healthy neonates. As hemostasis activation may have unwanted effects on cord blood cell contents, it should be minimized. The assessment of hemostasis activation could be implemented as a part of process control in cord blood banks. Culture assays provide information about the hematopoietic potential of the cord blood unit. In processed cord blood units prior to freezing, megakaryocytic colony growth was evaluated in semisolid cultures with a novel scoring system. Three investigators analyzed the colony assays, and the scores were highly concordant. With such scoring systems, the growth potential of various cord blood cell lineages can be assessed. In addition, erythroid cells were observed in liquid cultures of cryostored and thawed, unseparated cord blood units without exogenous erythropoietin. This was hypothesized to be due to the erythropoietic effect of thrombopoietin, endogenous erythropoietin production, and diverse cell-cell interactions in the culture. This observation underscores the complex interactions of cytokines and supporting cells in the heterogeneous cell population of the thawed cord blood unit.
  • Veihola, Marketta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Various reasons, such as ethical issues in maintaining blood resources, growing costs, and strict requirements for safe blood, have increased the pressure for efficient use of resources in blood banking. The competence of blood establishments can be characterized by their ability to predict the volume of blood collection to be able to provide cellular blood components in a timely manner as dictated by hospital demand. The stochastically varying clinical need for platelets (PLTs) sets a specific challenge for balancing supply with requests. Labour has been proven a primary cost-driver and should be managed efficiently. International comparisons of blood banking could recognize inefficiencies and allow reallocation of resources. Seventeen blood centres from 10 countries in continental Europe, Great Britain, and Scandinavia participated in this study. The centres were national institutes (5), parts of the local Red Cross organisation (5), or integrated into university hospitals (7). This study focused on the departments of blood component preparation of the centres. The data were obtained retrospectively by computerized questionnaires completed via Internet for the years 2000-2002. The data were used in four original articles (numbered I through IV) that form the basis of this thesis. Non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA, II-IV) was applied to evaluate and compare the relative efficiency of blood component preparation. Several models were created using different input and output combinations. The focus of comparisons was on the technical efficiency (II-III) and the labour efficiency (I, IV). An empirical cost model was tested to evaluate the cost efficiency (IV). Purchasing power parities (PPP, IV) were used to adjust the costs of the working hours and to make the costs comparable among countries. The total annual number of whole blood (WB) collections varied from 8,880 to 290,352 in the centres (I). Significant variation was also observed in the annual volume of produced red blood cells (RBCs) and PLTs. The annual number of PLTs produced by any method varied from 2,788 to 104,622 units. In 2002, 73% of all PLTs were produced by the buffy coat (BC) method, 23% by aphaeresis and 4% by the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) method. The annual discard rate of PLTs varied from 3.9% to 31%. The mean discard rate (13%) remained in the same range throughout the study period and demonstrated similar levels and variation in 2003-2004 according to a specific follow-up question (14%, range 3.8%-24%). The annual PLT discard rates were, to some extent, associated with production volumes. The mean RBC discard rate was 4.5% (range 0.2%-7.7%). Technical efficiency showed marked variation (median 60%, range 41%-100%) among the centres (II). Compared to the efficient departments, the inefficient departments used excess labour resources (and probably) production equipment to produce RBCs and PLTs. Technical efficiency tended to be higher when the (theoretical) proportion of lost WB collections (total RBC+PLT loss) from all collections was low (III). The labour efficiency varied remarkably, from 25% to 100% (median 47%) when working hours were the only input (IV). Using the estimated total costs as the input (cost efficiency) revealed an even greater variation (13%-100%) and overall lower efficiency level compared to labour only as the input. In cost efficiency only, the savings potential (observed inefficiency) was more than 50% in 10 departments, whereas labour and cost savings potentials were both more than 50% in six departments. The association between department size and efficiency (scale efficiency) could not be verified statistically in the small sample. In conclusion, international evaluation of the technical efficiency in component preparation departments revealed remarkable variation. A suboptimal combination of manpower and production output levels was the major cause of inefficiency, and the efficiency did not directly relate to production volume. Evaluation of the reasons for discarding components may offer a novel approach to study efficiency. DEA was proven applicable in analyses including various factors as inputs and outputs. This study suggests that analytical models can be developed to serve as indicators of technical efficiency and promote improvements in the management of limited resources. The work also demonstrates the importance of integrating efficiency analysis into international comparisons of blood banking.