Blood purification might sound evocative of ethnic cleansing and genocide, but the term in fact refers to a new technology designed to deactivate potential harmful bacteria in blood. Blood supplies are easily contaminated and during chronic shortage blood goes bad more quickly than milk, writes Global Post’s Katherine Herrup. And blood purification is missing from America’s health-care debate. She says: “America is behind on many international races these days, including the one to purify the blood supply. Other countries have already begun to use a blood purification technology, called Intercept, that brings to life the concept of pathogen inactivation — bacteria in the blood is ‘inactivated’ so that the risk of diseases transmitted by blood transfusions is greatly reduced. The Intercept blood platelet system is the first of its kind approved for use in Europe, Russia and parts of the Middle East and Asia. Some countries have even been using it for six years. So far, the results have been promising. Half a million successful blood transfusions have been performed across Europe using the system. Data taken from more than 40,000 transfusions done in the Alsace region show there have been zero bacterial infections from transfusions since the use of Intercept.”
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