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CMS Releases Changes to HCPCS Code for Pathogen-Reduced Platelets |  Possible Transfusion-Transmitted Babesia divergens-like Parasite Found in an Arkansas Patient  |  Routine Transfusion Experience in Pediatric Patients Using Pathogen Reduced Platelets  | Science Section: What We're Reading  |  Calendar of Events
CMS Releases Changes to HCPCS Code for Pathogen-Reduced Platelets  
In April 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released coding changes that separate rapid bacterial tested and pathogen reduced platelets, which were previously combined under one code (P9072) effective January 1, 2017. The new codes (Q9988 – Platelets, pathogen reduced, each unit & Q9987 – Pathogen(s) test for platelets) will go into effect on July 1, 2017 and will replace code P9072. Payment rate information associated with these new codes is not yet available, but is expected to be announced in the coming months.1

1Read the AABB Weekly Report Here [Subscription Required] 
Possible Transfusion-Transmitted Babesia divergens-like Parasite Found in an Arkansas Patient
An 81-year-old male was admitted to a health care facility in Arkansas due to declining health and altered mental status. Upon admission, a peripheral smear was performed, indicating he was infected with Babesia. PCR identified the species as Babesia divergens-like parasite, rather than the more common Babesia microti. The patient was previously treated for multiple ailments, including chronic iron-deficient anemia, for which he was treated with packed red blood cells (PRBC) ~5-6 months prior. The patient had no known exposure to ticks, therefore the source of the infection was suspected to be from the PRBC transfusion. To date, B. divergens had only been diagnosed in asplenic individuals, however the authors concluded B.divergens “may be more common than reported as asymptomatic cases may go undiagnosed."1

Burgess MJ et al. Clin Infect Dis. 13 Mar 2017. DOI: 10.1093/cid/cix216. [Epub ahead of print]

1Read the Article Here [Subscription Required For Full Access]
Routine Transfusion Experience in Pediatric Patients Using Pathogen Reduced Platelets
On Friday, April 28th Cerus’ Medical Science Liaison, John Pitman PhD, will speak at an Education Theater at The American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) 30th Annual Meeting in Montreal to discuss the routine transfusion experience in pediatric patients using pathogen reduced platelets. Platelet contamination remains a leading cause of transfusion-related morbidity and mortality. Dr. Pitman will discuss routine administration of pathogen-reduced platelets to help mitigate transfusion-transmitted infectious risk in pediatric patient populations. Data will be presented from an ongoing, large-scale hemovigilance program evaluating the safety profile of pathogen-reduced platelet components.
Science Section: What We’re Reading

51 US Pregnanices Had Zika-Related Defects in 2016
A. Ault. Mediscape. 4 April 2017. article/878207
Read the Article Here

High Risk of Dengue Type 2 Outbreak in French Polynesia, 2017
M. Aubry et al. Eurosurveillance. 20 March 2017. DOI:10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.14.30505
Read the Article Here

Historic Yellow Fever Outbreak in Brazil
D. Phillips. Stat. 13 April 2017. https//
Read the Article Here

Calendar of Events

ASPHO -The American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 
April 26-29, 2017 | Montreal, Canada  
Additional Information

ASFA - American Society for Apheresis (Cerus Poster Presentation)
May 3-6, 2017 | Fort Lauderdale, FL
Additional Information

CBBS - California Blood Bank Society
May 3-7, 2017 | Olympic Valley, CA
Additional Information

TABB - Tennessee Association of Blood Banks
May 4-5, 2017 | Nashville , TN
Additional Information

ONS - Oncology Nursing Society (Cerus Poster)
May 4-7, 2017 | Denver, CO
Additional Information

SOCCA - Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (Cerus Poster)
May 5, 2017 | Washington DC
Additional Information

SOAP - Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (Cerus Poster)
May 10-14, 2017 | Bellevue, WA
Additional Information

NJABBP - New Jersey Association of Blood Bank Professionals
May 16, 2017 | New Brunswick, NJ
Additional Information

SCABB - South Central Association of Blood Banks
May 25-28, 2017 | Orlando, FL
Additional Information
Data for pathogen reduction of the ZIKA virus by the INTERCEPT Blood System, pathogen reduction system, have not been submitted for FDA review.

There is no pathogen inactivation process that has been shown to eliminate all pathogens. Certain non-enveloped viruses (e.g., HAV, HEV, B19 and poliovirus) and Bacillus cereus spores have demonstrated resistance to the INTERCEPT process.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Contraindicated for preparation of plasma and platelet components intended for patients with a history of hypersensitivity reaction to amotosalen or other psoralens. Contraindicated for preparation of platelet and plasma components intended for neonatal patients treated with phototherapy devices that emit a peak energy wavelength less than 425 nm, or have a lower bound of the emission bandwidth <375 nm, due to the potential for erythema resulting from interaction between ultraviolet light and amotosalen.

WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS: Only INTERCEPT Processing Sets for platelets and plasma are approved for use with the INTERCEPT Blood System. Use only the INTERCEPT INT100 Illuminator for UVA illumination of amotosalen-treated platelet and plasma components. No other source of UVA light may be used. Please refer to the Operator's Manual for the INT100 Illuminator. Discard any platelet or plasma components not exposed to the complete INT100 illumination process. Tubing components and container ports of the INTERCEPT Blood System contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is known to be released from PVC medical devices, and increased leaching can occur with extended storage or increased surface area contact. Blood components will be in contact with PVC for a brief period of time (approx. 15 minutes) during processing. The risks associated with DEHP released into the blood components must be weighed against the benefits of therapeutic transfusion.

PLATELETS: INTERCEPT processed platelets may cause the following adverse reaction: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). An increased incidence of ARDS was reported in a randomized trial for recipients of INTERCEPT processed platelets, 5/318 (1.6%), compared to recipients of conventional platelet components (0/327). Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of ARDS.

PLASMA: Amotosalen-treated plasma may cause the following adverse reaction: Cardiac Events. In a randomized controlled trial of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) for TTP, five patients treated with INTERCEPT Blood System processed plasma and none with conventional plasma had adverse events in the cardiac system organ class (SOC) reported. These events included angina pectoris (n=3), cardiac arrest (n=1), bradycardia (n=1), tachycardia (n=1) and sinus arrhythmia (n=1). None of these events resulted in documented myocardial infarction or death. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of cardiac events during TPE for TTP.

INTERCEPT Blood System for Red Blood Cells is in development and not available for sale.

Rx only. For full prescribing information, please see package insert.
MKT-EN 00165-22
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