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NEWS
May 31, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
As more people in Europe fall ill from an especially dangerous strain of E. coli, the germ’s worst-case complication, hemolytic uremic syndrome, is grabbing headlines. The condition , which can shut down the kidneys, is potentially fatal—as evidenced by the mounting death toll. Though most strains of E. coli are harmless, this particular outbreak appears to be caused by a virulent strain known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli. It leads to hemolytic uremic syndrome in about 8% of those infected , often children.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Thanks to an array of tests for HIV, Chagas disease and other conditions, the current blood supply is "extremely safe," said Brick Bunch, laboratory manager at Downey Regional Medical Center. It is also extremely expensive. From 1979 to 2000, the average price that hospitals nationwide paid for a unit of red blood cells grew from $32 to $96, an increase of about 5% a year. By 2004, the most recent year tallied in the U.S.
BUSINESS
July 7, 1998 | BARBARA MURPHY
Medicare has decided to broaden its criteria for payment of Amgen's top drug, the anemia treatment Epogen. The Health Care Financing Administration, which runs Medicare, indicated in March that it would raise the limit on red blood cell production for Epogen users. The agency recently sent a letter to insurers about the change, Amgen said. "It's the first time they agreed to the change in writing," said David Kaye, a spokesman for the Thousand Oaks-based Amgen.
BUSINESS
December 27, 1994
Amgen Inc., a Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company, said its Neupogen drug has received U. S. Food and Drug Administration approval to be used in the treatment of severe chronic neutropenia, or SCN. SCN is a rare blood disorder involving extremely low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells. Neupogen, which stimulates production of white blood cells, is already used by cancer chemotherapy patients and bone marrow transplant patients.
BUSINESS
June 23, 1989
Drug Reimbursements Approved: The federal Health Care Financing Administration has agreed to reimburse kidney dialysis centers when patients use Amgen Inc.'s new Epogen drug, retroactive to June 1. Epogen is the brand name for erythropoietin, a protein developed by the Thousand Oaks biotechnology company that is used to treat chronic anemia by stimulating production of red blood cells. Amgen said the U.S. will reimburse about 80% of a patient's treatment costs, with states covering the balance.
BUSINESS
January 7, 1997 | LEO SMITH
A drug manufactured by Amgen of Thousand Oaks to aid the production of red blood cells has received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration to be used prior to surgery. The drug, Procrit, is marketed by Ortho Biotech Inc., a unit of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson. Procrit is a genetically engineered version of a natural human hormone, erythropoietin, which stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
For the first time, researchers have diagnosed fetal genetic disorders by taking blood samples from pregnant women, eliminating risk to the fetus. The new techniques rely on the fact that a very small number of fetal blood cells can make their way into a pregnant woman's bloodstream through leaks in the placenta. The cells are very rare in the mother's bloodstream, however.
NEWS
November 2, 1986 | --Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports
A virus may be the cause of Kawasaki syndrome, a mysterious disease that causes life-threatening heart abnormalities in children and is especially prevalent among youngsters of Japanese and Korean descent, according to Harvard Medical School researchers. In studies on the white blood cells of Kawasaki syndrome patients, the researchers have detected a key viral enzyme, called reverse transcriptase, which is normally not present in blood cells.
HEALTH
September 14, 1998
During this period, the structure of the fetus is completed to the extent that major abnormalities--or good health-- can be determined. MONTH FOUR Weeks 15-16: Amniocentesis can be performed to check for birth defects MONTH FIVE Weeks 16-18: Substantial cardiac defects can be determined. The fetus is fully formed, about 5 inches long. Fetal heart beats twice as fast as mother's. Weeks 18-20: Stem cells begin to occupy the fetal bone marrow. Fetus begins to move.
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