Clinical research progress is ongoing at BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Our clinical research team has made a difference in many lives by leading the way in the discovery, treatment and cure of patients.
Patients undergoing heart surgery often receive heparin to decrease the incidence of clotting. For some patients, however, heparin can induce excessive post-surgical bleeding. BloodCenter of Wisconsin researchers created a test for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), so physicians can identify the source of this bleeding and discontinue heparin therapy.
In certain instances, a pregnant woman’s immune system can react against the fetus and destroy its platelets. This condition is known as Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (NATP). BloodCenter of Wisconsin researchers were the first to identify the platelet markers most commonly implicated in NATP, and formulated a DNA detection test that has resulted in decreased fetal deaths.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin researchers were the first to discover certain white cell markers, called HLA markers, which are important to match to maximize the success of a transplant. They then developed genetic typing that allows for more accurate matching of bone marrow donors with patients, decreasing the incidence of rejection.
Protein C-deficient newborns do not live long because their blood is unable to properly regulate the clotting process, causing them to have profound systemic clotting. BloodCenter of Wisconsin researchers defined the role of protein C in clot regulation, and created the first successful treatment for Protein C-deficient newborns.
Patients in need of frequent transfusions can develop reactions to the blood they receive. Through a technique involving the matching of certain markers on platelets, the incidence of reactions following transfusions has decreased.
By early recognition of the risks of pooled product, BloodCenter of Wisconsin researchers helped to reduce the incidence of HIV in this population by providing an alternate product.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin researchers have determined methods for improving the quality and quantity of stored platelets. Those needing platelets include surgery patients, organ transplant recipients, and patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Researchers have participated in studies leading to improved treatments for sickle cell patients. Sickle cell disease impacts about 1 in 400 African-Americans.