Improved blood safety measures from Pall can increase platelet availability

East Hills, New York (Oct. 17, 2005) - - Availability of safe platelets is a fundamental blood transfusion challenge and can be especially problematic in times of emergency. Several studies presented at the annual AABB meeting today demonstrate new approaches to counteract platelet shortages by enhancing the safety of whole blood derived platelets, precluding the need to rely on only those obtained through apheresis.

"If platelets from whole blood are tested for bacteria using state-of-the-art culture detection methods, the risk of transfusing contaminated platelets would be significantly reduced and transfusion medicine specialists would no longer have to make a trade-off between clinical safety and availability," says Stein Holme, Ph.D., vice president, R&D Applications, Pall Corporation (NYSE: PLL), one of the presenters at AABB. Bacterial contamination of platelets is the leading infectious cause of sickness and death from a blood transfusion.

Dr. Holme explains that there is currently a disparity in platelet safety. Apheresis (single donor) platelets, which are time-consuming and expensive to obtain, are tested for bacterial contamination using the most sensitive culture detection methods. Whereas whole blood derived platelets are typically tested using less sensitive and reliable methods such as dipsticks or pH meters. Hospitals resort to these less sensitive methods since whole blood derived platelets need to be individually sampled for bacterial contamination (five separate tests) prior to pooling into a standard therapeutic dose for transfusion. However, if whole blood derived platelets were first pooled and then tested for bacteria using a more sensitive detection method, only one testing sample would be required. This approach would increase the safety standard of transfused platelets and ensure that this valuable resource is more readily available. It would also be more cost-effective, as it would reduce the handling costs of h

Contact: Marcia Katz
Pall Corporation

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