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.
May 31, 2011 |
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.
January 7, 1997 |
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 |
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.
November 2, 1986 |
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.
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.
December 16, 2011 |
News came today that singer Etta James is terminally ill with chronic leukemia; the Riverside Press-Enterprise also reports that the 73-year-old is suffering from kidney failure and dementia. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, where blood cells are produced. When abnormal cells are created they disrupt the function of healthy cells. The disease can be acute or chronic; in acute leukemia, common in children, immature or early blood cells multiply quickly, and immediate treatment is usually necessary.
June 11, 2012 |
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, who five years ago beat breast cancer, said Monday that she has now been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder caused by chemotherapy for her cancer. She is now taking chemotherapy in preparation for receiving a bone marrow transplant from her sister later this year. Because she is relatively young and healthy, the combination of treatments should cure the condition, doctors have told her. Myelodysplastic syndrome is sometimes known as pre-leukemia, and many researchers now believe that, if untreated, it will progress to acute myeloid leukemia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2007 |
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.