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Spectra Optia Device Save Way to Treat Sickle Cell While Using Less Blood Cell Packs, Study Finds

The blood-separation device Spectra Optia, which has the ability to remove abnormal red blood cells from sickle cell patients, can efficiently and safely replace these cells with healthy red blood cells from donors, a study reports.

The therapeutic tool also uses less red blood cell units than regular transfusion techniques, i.e., without the removal of abnormal red blood cells (RBCs).

The study, “Automatic depletion with Spectra Optia allows a safe 16% reduction of red blood cell pack consumption in exchanged sickle cell anemia patients,” was published in the journal Transfusion.

Sickle-cell anemia results from an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin found in red blood cells. Cells become sticky and rigid, with a sickle or crescent moon shape, and are prone to getting trapped in small vessels, stopping the blood from circulating and causing painful vaso-occlusive crisis.