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1.  Giving Blood and Enrolling on the Stem Cell Donor Registry: Ranking of Obstacles and Motives in Switzerland 
To obtain a better understanding of factors affecting blood and blood stem cell donation behavior in Switzerland, a series of studies has been performed. In the recent study of this series, which is described here, motivators and barriers in the field of blood and blood stem cell donation were identified.
Web-based survey data from a non-random sample of the Swiss population 2012/2013 (n = 3,153) were used to describe and compare the ranking of motives and obstacles to donate blood and to enroll on the Swiss blood stem cell registry. Wilcoxon rank-sum test and Spearman's rank correlations were used to assess differences and associations between ranks and groups.
The prospect of saving lives and solidarity were the top two motives to donate blood or to enroll on the blood stem cell registry. The top two obstacles to enroll on the blood stem cell registry were lack of general information on blood stem cell donation and on its risks, whereas the top two obstacles to donate blood were the lack of information where and when to donate and deferral of or exclusion from blood donation.
Classical altruistic motives are top drivers for giving blood as well as registering for blood stem cell donation. Recruitment campaigns should focus on these motivators. Similarities in motivational factors as well as in obstacles regarding blood and blood stem cell donation can be found.
PMCID: PMC4164091  PMID: 25254022
Blood donation; Blood stem cell donation; Donor motivation
2.  A Simple Guideline Reduces the Need for Red Blood Cell Transfusions in Swiss Hospitals: A Prospective, Multicentre, Before-and-After Study in Elective Hip and Knee Replacement 
Optimising the use of blood has become a core task of transfusion medicine. Because no general guidelines are available in Switzerland, we analysed the effects of the introduction of a guideline on red blood cell (RBC) transfusion for elective orthopaedic surgery.
Prospective, multicentre, before-and-after study comparing the use of RBCs in adult elective hip or knee replacement before and after the implementation of a guideline in 10 Swiss hospitals, developed together with all participants.
We included 2,134 patients, 1,238 in 7 months before, 896 in 6 months after intervention. 57 (34 or 2.7% before, 23 or 2.6% after) were lost before follow-up visit. The mean number of transfused RBC units decreased from 0.5 to 0.4 per patient (0.1, 95% CI 0.08–0.2; p = 0.014), the proportion of transfused patients from 20.9% to 16.9% (4%, 95% C.I. 0.7–7.4%; p = 0.02), and the pre-transfusion haemoglobin from 82.6 to 78.2 g/l (4.4 g/l, 95% C. I. 2.15–6.62 g/l, p < 0.001). We did not observe any statistically significant changes in in-hospital mortality (0.4% vs. 0%) and morbidity (4.1% vs. 4.0%), median hospital length of stay (9 vs. 9 days), follow-up mortality (0.4% vs. 0.2%) and follow-up morbidity (6.9% vs. 6.0%).
The introduction of a simple transfusion guideline reduces and standardises the use of RBCs by decreasing the haemoglobin transfusion trigger, without negative effects on the patient outcome. Local support, training, and monitoring of the effects are requirements for programmes optimising the use of blood.
PMCID: PMC4086767  PMID: 25053931
Transfusion; Surgery; Red blood cells; Guideline
3.  Transfusion Efficacy of Apheresis Platelet Concentrates Irradiated at the Day of Transfusion Is Significantly Superior Compared to Platelets Irradiated in Advance 
Gamma irradiation is currently the standard care to avoid transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease. Guidelines on gamma irradiation of blood components state that platelets (PLTs) can be irradiated at any stage in their 5-day storage and can thereafter be stored up to their normal shelf life of 5 days after collection. In this study, we explored whether the timing of irradiation has an effect on transfusion efficacy of apheresis PLT concentrates (APCs).
Based on the 1-hour percent PLT recovery (PPR1h), transfusion efficacy of 1,000 eligible APCs transfused to 144 children were evaluated retrospectively. PPR1h was compared in transfused APCs irradiated at the day of transfusion and APCs irradiated in advance.
In univariate analysis, transfusion efficacy of APCs irradiated in advance was significantly lower than that of APCs irradiated at the day of transfusion (mean PPR1h 27.7 vs. 35.0%; p = 0.007). This was confirmed in multivariate analysis (p = 0.030). Compared to non-irradiated APCs, transfusion efficacy of APCs irradiated at the day of transfusion was not significantly inferior (mean difference −2.8%; 95% CI −6.1 to 0.5%; p = 0.092), but APCs irradiated in advance were clearly less efficient (mean difference −8.1%; 95% CI −12.2 to −4.0%; p < 0.001).
Our data strongly support that APCs should not be irradiated in advance, 1.e., ≥24 h before transfusion.
PMCID: PMC4086758  PMID: 25053930
Platelet transfusion; Platelet concentrates; Platelet storage; Gamma irradiation
4.  Platelet Recruitment during Multiple Donor Platelet Apheresis Differs between Cell Separators 
Recruitment of platelets (PLT) during donor PLT apheresis may facilitate the harvest of multiple units within a single donation.
We compared two PLT apheresis procedures (Amicus and Trima Accel) in a prospective, randomized, paired cross-over study in 60 donors. The 120 donations were compared for depletion of circulating PLT in the donors, PLT yields and PLT recruitment. A recruitment was defined as ratio of total PLT yield and donor PLT depletion > 1.
Despite comparable differences of pre- and post-apheresis PLT counts (87 × 109/l in Trima Accel vs. 92 × 109/l in Amicus, p = 0.383), PLT yields were higher with Trima Accel (7.48 × 1011 vs. 6.06 × 1011, p < 0.001), corresponding to a higher PLT recruitment (1.90 vs. 1.42, p < 0.001). We observed a different increase of WBC counts after aphereses, which was more pronounced with Trima Accel than with Amicus (1.30 × 109/l vs. 0.46 × 109/l, p < 0.001).
Both procedures induced PLT recruitment. This was higher in Trima Accel, contributing to a higher yield in spite of a comparable depletion of circulating PLT in the donors. This recruitment facilitates the harvest of multiple units within a single donation and seems to be influenced by the procedure utilized. The different increases of circulating donor white blood cells after donation need further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3128152  PMID: 21760764
Platelet apheresis; Platelet recruitment; Cell separator
5.  Prospective, Paired Crossover Comparison of the in vitro Quality of Red Blood Cells Collected by the Automate for Blood Collection Device or by a Conventional Method 
The prevention of the citrate shock should improve the quality of red blood cells (RBCs). We compared a conventional whole blood donation method (CONV) with a ‘Automate for Blood Collection’ (ABC), enabling a metered addition of anticoagulant and hence a correct and constant RBC-to-anticoagulant ratio throughout donation. We evaluated the performance of the ABC device and the storage quality of RBC units.
Material and Methods
The study was designed as prospective, paired crossover study with two groups of 20 donors donating first with the ABC or CONV and switching to the alternative method after 12 weeks. We measured the processing data of donations and the storage quality of RBCs on days 1, 28, and 42.
ABC whole blood donations showed a slightly higher volume before and after filtration. ABC-derived RBC units revealed higher values for haematocrit, mean cellular volume, potassium and lower values for mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and sodium until day 42. They further showed faster glucose consumption and lactate production until day 28.
The ABC device is suitable for whole blood collection. The quality of the obtained RBCs is comparable to that of CONV. Avoiding the citrate shock by the described method did not improve the investigated RBC storage quality parameters.
PMCID: PMC2941835  PMID: 20877668
Whole blood donation; Citrate shock; Red blood cell storage quality
6.  Swiss Haemovigilance Data and Implementation of Measures for the Prevention of Transfusion Associated Acute Lung Injury (TRALI) 
In Switzerland, blood donations are collected exclusively from healthy non-remunerated voluntary blood donors mainly by 13 regional Blood Transfusion Services throughout the country. Thereby, self-sufficient blood supply for a population of about 7.5 million is achieved, and approximately 300,000 units of red cells, 75,000 therapeutic units of fresh plasma, and 20,000 therapeutic units of platelets are transfused annually. Reporting to Swissmedic (the Swiss agency for therapeutic products) of all suspected adverse transfusion events on a standardised form is mandatory. Data are then analysed to estimate the risks of the most serious transfusion events. Together with transfusion of an incorrect blood component and bacterial contamination of platelet concentrates, TRALI is a significant risk of transfusion in Switzerland and occurs in approximately every 8,000–20,000 FFP transfusions according to current haemovigilance data. Among 25 reported cases between 2002 and November 2007, 4 are proven immune TRALI, 2 are highly likely immune TRALI, 10 are possibly immune TRALI, 8 are non-immune TRALI, and 1 is a suspected case which could not be confirmed as TRALI. Based on the hypothesis of an immunological trigger of TRALI, an exclusion of the transfusion of plasma from female donors can be considered as a precautionary measure which might have prevented 4 cases of proven immune TRALI, 2 cases of highly likely immune TRALI, and an unknown number of the 10 cases of possibly immune TRALI. Based on these data and encouraging preliminary reports of the effects of comparable measures in other countries, the decision was made that starting with January 1st 2007 the production of quarantined FFP is restricted to donations from men or from women confirming that they have never been pregnant (to their knowledge) or with negative tests for antibodies against HLA class I and II. The analysis of further vigilance data is needed to elucidate the efficacy of this preventive measure.
PMCID: PMC3076342  PMID: 21512635
TRALI; Haemovigilance; Prevention; Transfusion risk

Results 1-6 (6)