Versiti Blood Research Institute awarded $7.4 million federal contract

Will participate in national study on blood transfusion therapies in adults and children

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Versiti Blood Research Institute has been awarded a seven-year, $7.4 million federal contract to participate in a national program aimed at protecting the nation’s blood supply and improving the collection and use of blood products.

The Blood Research Institute, based at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa, will participate in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS), which is entering its fourth phase.

This phase of the study will focus on the safety and effectiveness of blood transfusion therapies in adults and children.

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Versiti will collaborate with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Marshfield Clinic, which will provide clinical data to be linked to the donor data and participate in the design, enrollment and interpretation of clinical studies.

The study will continue to address blood donor health and expand its donor-recipient linked database to track outcomes in pediatric and adult patients. The study will link demographic, clinical and laboratory data on blood donors and their recipients, which will allow investigators to address key research questions in blood banking and transfusion medicine and inform blood policy decisions, Versiti said in a news release.

“Blood transfusions are the most common procedure in health care, but the least understood,” said Alan Mast, medical director and senior investigator at Versiti Blood Research Institute. “By tracking transfusions from vein-to-vein, we will learn how specific factors in blood donors can affect and improve patient outcomes.”

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Versiti Blood Research Institute has participated in the REDS program since 2004.

“Scientific research is the foundation for tomorrow’s discoveries,” said Gilbert White, executive vice president of research and chief scientific officer of Versiti. “Over the years, Dr. Mast and his team have dedicated themselves and made significant contributions to what the REDS program has built. Our future research will help make the next breakthrough in transfusion medicine possible, ensuring better care and outcomes for patients with transfusion needs.”

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