On-going research grant projects

1.Towards evidence-based Patient Blood Management: systematic reviews to scientifically underpin the appropriate use of platelets

Project duration: 01.2021 – 12.2023

Project description: Patient Blood Management is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to caring for patients who might need a blood transfusion. Platelets are the second most commonly transfused cellular blood component, and is mainly indicated to treat or prevent bleeding in patients with thrombocytopenia or platelet function disorder. The increased demand and limited supply of platelet products show that judicious use of platelet transfusions is crucial. Read more

2. FinnPHWB – Finnish Prehospital Whole Blood Study

Project duration: 12.2021 – 12.2026

Project description: The international trend has been the re-emergence of whole blood as the primary replacement product for acute bleeding. Finnish Red Cross Blood Service has validated cold stored, 0 RhD positive, male donor, leucoreduced, platelet sparing, low ABO antibody titer whole blood product (LTOWB). For this prospective, open, non-randomized clinical study LTOWB will be used in three prehospital emergency medical services that currently use most of prehospital blood products in Finland (HUS area, Pirkanmaa area and Päijät-Häme area). Other participating prehospital emergency medical service bases provide controls. Blood transfusions will be given for clinical indication only.

Registry-based analysis for the need of pre-hospital transfusions will be conducted and model to predict this need in different situations will be made. In addition, in vitro properties of whole blood product are compared to other transfusion combinations. Read more

3. International Neonatal tranSfusion PoInt pREvalence Study

Project description: Neonates (newborn babies) are a highly transfused group, but robust evidence supporting transfusion practice is lacking, with significant variation in patterns of use as a result. Recent trials indicate little benefit from transfusing at liberal thresholds and in some cases even report evidence of harm. We aim to perform a point prevalence study to describe prevalence, indications, and component specifications of transfusions among preterm neonates in Europe. This will be the first Europe-wide study to generate neonatal transfusion benchmark data for all participating EBA members. It will highlight areas to improve practice and inform research gaps, while contributing to developing European neonatal transfusion guidelines, the design of new research studies, and a review of  component specifications for neonates to match recipient needs. Read more

4. Manufacture of buffy coat-derived platelet concentrates from three buffy coats

Project duration: 01 2023 / 12-2024

Project description: Platelets are essential for blood clotting. The Welsh Blood Service (WBS) produces platelets in two forms: apheresis (single donor) and pooled (four random donors). To increase availability and reduce waste, WBS proposes optimizing platelet yields by producing pooled platelet components derived from three BC. Automated separation devices have improved the manufacturing process and increased platelet concentration. If successful, this project would benefit the wider community by increasing platelet availability, improving service resilience, and promoting greater flexibility in whole blood collection management. Read more

5. Comparing a novel non-toxic freezing approach with conventional DMSO-freezing of cryopreserved platelets: development of a new frozen platelet product

Project duration: 01.2023 – 31.2025

Project description: Platelets have an essential role in hemostasis. During vascular injury platelets stop bleeding by aggregating into the damaged area.  Substances such as collagen fibres are exposed during damage thus leading to triggering and activation of platelets through interplay of adhesive receptors. Transfusion of platelets is needed when this critical hemostatic function is dislodged due to severe thrombocytopenia, cancer treatment or trauma. Platelets are currently stored at room temperature for limited time, five to seven days after preparation.  Therefore, clinical development of cryopreserved platelets in 5-6% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is currently in progress, bridging inventory shortages of conventionally stored platelets. From recent studies on cryopreserved platelets using DMSO as cryoprotectant (CPA) a reduced recovery and viability is demonstrated after thawing regardless of freezing the platelets in material with lower conductivity for temperature, as well as using different freezing rate protocols1.

In contrast, data obtained from our pilot-studies indicate that using a novel freezing approach can reduce some of the negative impacts of DMSO-freezing and provide a near optimal non-toxic profile for the final reconstituted unit aimed for transfusion, which is a desirable. This novel freezing profile may also lend itself to further optimization of cryopreserved platelets. Read more

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