Houston, TX, United States
Houston, TX, United States

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Murray K.O.,Baylor College of Medicine | Garcia M.N.,Baylor College of Medicine | Rahbar M.H.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Martinez D.,Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services | Rossmann S.,Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

In 2012, we witnessed a resurgence of West Nile virus (WNV) in the United States, with the largest outbreak of human cases reported since 2003. WNV is now endemic and will continue to produce epidemics over time, therefore defining the long-term consequences of WNV infection is critical. Over a period of eight years, we prospectively followed a cohort of 157 WNV-infected subjects in the Houston metropolitan area to observe recovery over time and define the long-term clinical outcomes. We used survival analysis techniques to determine percentage of recovery over time and the effects of demographic and co-morbid conditions on recovery. We found that 40% of study participants continued to experience symptoms related to their WNV infection up to 8 years later. Having a clinical presentation of encephalitis and being over age 50 were significantly associated with prolonged or poor recovery over time. Since the health and economic impact as a result of prolonged recovery, continued morbidity, and related disability is likely substantial in those infected with WNV, future research should be aimed at developing effective vaccines to prevent illness and novel therapeutics to minimize morbidity, mortality, and long-term complications from infection. © 2014 Murray et al.


PubMed | Red Cross, Blood Systems Incorporated, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, Baylor College of Medicine and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Epidemiology and infection | Year: 2016

Chagas disease is an important emerging disease in Texas that results in cardiomyopathy in about 30% of those infected with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Between the years 2008 and 2012, about 1/6500 blood donors were T. cruzi antibody-confirmed positive. We found older persons and minority populations, particularly Hispanic, at highest risk for screening positive for T. cruzi antibodies during routine blood donation. Zip code analysis determined that T. cruzi is associated with poverty. Chagas disease has a significant disease burden and is a cause of substantial economic losses in Texas.


Garcia M.N.,Baylor College of Medicine | Aguilar D.,Baylor College of Medicine | Gorchakov R.,Baylor College of Medicine | Rossmann S.N.,Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2015

Autochthonous transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in the United States is rarely reported. Here, we describe five newly identified patients with autochthonously acquired infections from a small pilot study of positive blood donors in southeast Texas. Case-patients 1-4 were possibly infected near their residences, which were all in the same region ∼100 miles west of Houston. Case-patient 5 was a young male with considerable exposure from routine outdoor and camping activities associated with a youth civic organization. Only one of the five autochthonous case-patients received anti-parasitic treatment. Our findings suggest an unrecognized risk of human vector-borne transmission in southeast Texas. Education of physicians and public health officials is crucial for identifying the true disease burden and source of infection in Texas. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Nolan M.S.,University of Houston | Zangeneh A.,University of Houston | Khuwaja S.A.,Office of Surveillance and Public Health Preparedness | Martinez D.,Harris County Public Health Environmental Services | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology | Year: 2012

West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne virus, has clinically affected hundreds of residents in the Houston metropolitan area since its introduction in 2002. This study aimed to determine if living within close proximity to a water source increases ones odds of infection with WNV. We identified 356 eligible WNV-positive cases and 356 controls using a population proportionate to size model with US Census Bureau data. We found that living near slow moving water sources was statistically associated with increased odds for human infection, while living near moderate moving water systems was associated with decreased odds for human infection. Living near bayous lined with vegetation as opposed to concrete also showed increased risk of infection. The habitats of slow moving and vegetation lined water sources appear to favor the mosquito-human transmission cycle. These methods can be used by resource-limited health entities to identify high-risk areas for arboviral disease surveillance and efficient mosquito management initiatives. Copyright © 2012 Melissa S. Nolan et al.


Majhail N.S.,Cleveland Clinic | Chitphakdithai P.,National Marrow Donor Program | Logan B.,Medical College of Wisconsin | King R.,National Marrow Donor Program | And 13 more authors.
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2015

Patients and physicians may defer unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) as curative therapy because of the mortality risk associated with the procedure. Therefore, it is important for physicians to know the current outcomes data when counseling potential candidates. To provide this information, we evaluated 15,059 unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplant recipients between 2000 and 2009. We compared outcomes before and after 2005 for 4 cohorts: age <18years with malignant diseases (n=1920), ages 18 to 59years with malignant diseases (n=9575), ages≥60years with malignant diseases (n=2194), and nonmalignant diseases (n=1370). Three-year overall survival in 2005 to 2009 was significantly better in all 4 cohorts (<18years: 55% versus 45%, 18 to 59years: 42% versus 35%, ≥60years: 35% versus 25%, nonmalignant diseases: 69% versus 60%; P < .001 for all comparisons). Multivariate analyses in leukemia patients receiving HLA 7/8 to 8/8-matched transplants showed significant reduction in overall and nonrelapse mortality in the first year after HCT among patients who underwent transplantation in 2005 to 2009; however, risks for relapse did not change over time. Significant survival improvements after unrelated donor HCT have occurred over the recent decade and can be partly explained by better patient selection (eg, HCT earlier in the disease course and lower disease risk), improved donor selection (eg, more precise allele-level matched unrelated donors) and changes in transplantation practices. © 2015 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.


HOUSTON, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With the holiday season kicking off, it's a challenging time of year for the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center as Houston-area blood donations drop. Two Houston Institutions, the Houston West Chamber of Commerce and attorney Terry Bryant are teaming up...


Matijevic N.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Wang Y.-W.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Cotton B.A.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Hartwell E.,Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: Immediate use of thawed fresh frozen plasma (FFP) when resuscitating hemorrhagic shock patients has become more common. According to the AABB (formerly known as American Association of Blood Banks), FFP is the preferred product that can be used up to 5 days after thawing. However, limited data exist on the clinical use and hemostatic profiles of Food and Drug Administration-approved liquid plasma (LQP), which can be stored at 1 C to 6 C for up to 26 days. We characterized changes in LQP hemostatic potential during 26 days of cold storage. METHODS: Ten FFP and 10 LQP single-donor units, matched by sex and blood group, were analyzed. FFP was thawed and kept refrigerated for 5 days and LQP for 26 days. Plasma samples were evaluated at Days 0 and 5 for thawed plasma (TP) and 0, 5, 10, 20, and 26 for LQP, by thrombelastography, thrombogram, platelet counts, platelet microparticles, clotting factors, and natural coagulation inhibitors. RESULTS: LQP had a better capacity to form a clot and generate thrombin compared with TP. LQP's hemostatic potential, expressed as endogenous thrombin potential (total amount of thrombin [nM] formed over time [minute]), initially exceeded that of TP (1,425 vs. 1,184, p < 0.05) but decreased to levels similar to TP by Day 26 (1,201 vs. 1,103, p = 0.15). Significantly higher platelet microparticles were found in LQP on Day 26 compared with those in LQP on Day 0 (23.6 x 10/L vs. 3 x 10/L, p < 0.001) or those in TP on Day 5 (2.8 x 10/L). By Day 26, the majority of clotting factors and inhibitors retained more than 88% of their initial activities in LQP, with the few exceptions of factors well known to be unstable. CONCLUSION: The hemostatic profiles of LQP were better and sustained five times longer than the more commonly used TP, indicating that never-frozen plasma can be considered for use in the United States in trauma patients requiring immediate plasma resuscitation. © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Holcomb J.B.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Donathan D.P.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Cotton B.A.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Del Junco D.J.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | And 9 more authors.
Prehospital Emergency Care | Year: 2015

Objective. Earlier use of plasma and red blood cells (RBCs) has been associated with improved survival in trauma patients with substantial hemorrhage. We hypothesized that prehospital transfusion (PHT) of thawed plasma and/or RBCs would result in improved patient coagulation status on admission and survival.Methods. Adult trauma patient records were reviewed for patient demographics, shock, coagulopathy, outcomes, and blood product utilization from September 2011 to April 2013. Patients arrived by either ground or two different helicopter companies. All patients transfused with blood products (either pre- or in-hospital) were included in the study. One helicopter system (LifeFlight, LF) had thawed plasma and RBCs while the other air (OA) and ground transport systems used only crystalloid resuscitation. Patients receiving PHT were compared with all other patients meeting entry criteria to the study cohort. All comparisons were adjusted in multilevel regression models.Results. A total of 8,536 adult trauma patients were admitted during the 20-month study period, of which 1,677 met inclusion criteria. They represented the most severely injured patients (ISS = 24 and mortality = 26%). There were 792 patients transported by ground, 716 by LF, and 169 on OA. Of the LF patients, 137 (19%) received prehospital transfusion. There were 942 units (244 RBCs and 698 plasma) placed on LF helicopters, with 1.9% wastage. PHT was associated with improved acid-base status on hospital admission, decreased use of blood products over 24 hours, a reduction in the risk of death in the sickest patients over the first 6 hours after admission, and negligible blood products wastage. In this small single-center pilot study, there were no differences in 24-hour (odds ratio 0.57, p = 0.117) or 30-day mortality (odds ratio 0.71, p = 0.441) between LF and OA.Conclusions. Prehospital plasma and RBC transfusion was associated with improved early outcomes, negligible blood products wastage, but not an overall survival advantage. Similar to the data published from the ongoing war, improved early outcomes are associated with placing blood products prehospital, allowing earlier infusion of life-saving products to critically injured patients.


Cotton B.A.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Podbielski J.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Camp E.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Welch T.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | And 8 more authors.
Annals of Surgery | Year: 2013

Objectives: To determine whether resuscitation of severely injured patients with modified whole blood (mWB) resulted in fewer overall transfusions compared with component (COMP) therapy. Background: For decades, whole blood (WB) was the primary product for resuscitating patients in hemorrhagic shock. After dramatic advances in blood banking in the 1970s, blood donor centers began supplying hospitals with individual components [red blood cell (RBC), plasma, platelets] and removed WB as an available product. However, no studies of efficacy or hemostatic potential in trauma patients were performed before doing so. Methods: Single-center, randomized trial of severely injured patients predicted to large transfusion volume. Pregnant patients, prisoners, those younger than 18 years or with more than 20% total body surface area burns (TBSA) burns were excluded. Patients were randomized to mWB (1 U mWB) or COMP therapy (1 U RBC+ 1 U plasma) immediately on arrival. Each group also received 1 U platelets (apheresis or prepooled random donor) for every 6 U of mWB or 6 U of RBC + 6 U plasma. The study was performed under the Exception From Informed Consent (Food and Drug Administration 21 code of federal regulations [CFR] 50.24). Primary outcome was 24-hour transfusion volumes. Results: A total of 107 patients were randomized (55 mWB, 52 COMP therapy) over 14 months. There were no differences in demographics, arrival vitals or laboratory values, injury severity, or mechanism. Transfusions were similar between groups (intent-to-treat analysis). However, when excluding patients with severe brain injury (sensitivity analysis), WB group received less 24-hour RBC (median 3 vs 6, P = 0.02), plasma (4 vs 6, P = 0.02), platelets (0 vs 3, P = 0.09), and total products (11 vs 16, P = 0.02). Conclusions: Compared with COMP therapy, WB did not reduce transfusion volumes in severely injured patients predicted to receive massive transfusion. However, in the sensitivity analysis (patients without severe brain injuries), use ofmWBsignificantly reduced transfusion volumes, achieving the prespecified endpoint of this initial pilot study. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Nobles J.R.,Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
Immunohematology / American Red Cross | Year: 2013

Routine adsorption procedures to remove autoantibodies from patients' serum often require many hours to perform. This time-consuming process can create significant delays that affect patient care. This study modified the current adsorption method to reduce total adsorption time to 1 hour. A ratio of one part serum to three parts red blood cells (RBCs; 1:3 method) was maintained for all samples. The one part serum was split into three tubes. Each of these three aliquots of serum was mixed with one full part RBCs, creating three adsorbing tubes. All tubes were incubated for 1 hour with periodic mixing. Adsorbed serum from the three tubes was harvested, combined, and tested for reactivity. Fifty-eight samples were evaluated using both the current method and the 1:3 method. Forty-eight (83%) samples successfully adsorbed using both methods. Twenty (34.5%) samples contained underlying alloantibodies. The 1:3 method demonstrated the same antibody specificities and strengths in all 20 samples. Eight samples failed to adsorb by either method. The 1:3 method found previously undetected alloantibodies in three samples. Two samples successfully autoadsorbed but failed to alloadsorb by either method. The 1:3 method proved to be efficient and effective for quick removal of autoantibodies while allowing for the detection of underlying alloantibodies.

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