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Patients

Seriously ill Covid-19 patients given hope with controversial 1,000 euros incentive for blood plasma donations


https://www.prfire.com/

The Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, has taken what many believe to be a radical step to save the lives of Covid-19 patients in the city. She is offering 1,000 EUR worth of essential retail vouchers for blood donations from citizens who have recovered from the virus. Antibodies from the donated blood plasma will be used as an emergency treatment to help seriously ill patients.

Gabriela Firea explained, “Convalescent plasma treatment is currently undergoing multiple studies across the globe and initial results are very promising. The plasma from recovered patients is rich with antibodies and can be used to stimulate further antibody production in patients being treated for Covid-19.”

However, Romania already has one of the lowest rates of blood and plasma donation in Europe, and the country currently has an alarming 67,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections. Of the 31,500 people who have recovered, only around 400 have donated blood, despite public appeals. This led Gabriela Firea to launch the voucher initiative.

Any qualifying individual who donates blood plasma will receive vouchers worth 1,000 EUR. These can be used to buy food, medicine and other essential goods from stores in Bucharest, providing both an incentive to donate and an injection of capital into the city’s beleaguered retail sector.

Despite criticism from the opposition, who linked the programme to organ trafficking and made emotive calls in the media for it to be stopped, Gabriela Firea stands by her decision. “Other government initiatives have failed to increase donation rates,” she said. “Providing a financial incentive to those who have recovered from the virus is one of the best ways to prevent more people from dying.”

Overcoming negative social attitudes to blood donation will not be straightforward, and it remains to be seen whether or not Romanians will be sufficiently convinced of the benefits of plasma donation. Trials are still ongoing.

“I’m not advocating the use of the donated plasma until the trials are complete,” added Gabriela Firea. “If the studies show negative results, the worst-case scenario will be that we’ve paid for blood, which can still be used for routine hospital operations. On the other hand, we could be saving thousands of lives and assisting the global search for effective treatment.”

If the scheme is successful in Bucharest, Gabriela Firea hopes it can be implemented nationwide, where similar shortages exist and the process of soliciting donations has been impeded by bureaucracy, public attitudes and inaction on the part of the Ministry of Health.

For more information, contact:
Alexandru Burghiu
+40 735 262 102
alexbu09@yahoo.com
City Hall Bucharest

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Entia Partners with the NHS to Keep Vulnerable Patients Safe


22nd July 2020 – London. Entia, a Medical technology company who specialise in home monitoring, partner with Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Deploying home monitoring solutions to patients with Chronic Kidney Disease who are currently shielding.

Since necessary lock down measures were put in place at the beginning of March, people living with conditions such as chronic kidney disease have had to minimise routine but necessary testing, due to their vulnerability to COVID-19. This means Healthcare Professionals have had less available information to monitor their patients, important for making optimal treatment decisions and avoiding harm from treatments. If conditions are not monitored as closely in the long-term there is also an increasing risk of poorer health outcomes.

To combat this problem, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have partnered with Entia, a medical technology company, to deliver 50 home monitoring solutions to vulnerable patients within their area. These devices allow patients with Chronic Kidney Disease living with Anaemia to test their haemoglobin levels from their home, the results will then be reported to their healthcare team monthly. This method of testing will allow those at risk during this pandemic to continue having their condition monitored, allowing treatments to be adjusted and any potential deterioration in health to be detected quickly. All while patients remain safer at
home.

The patients are receiving a Luma device along with regular testing kits, enough for them to test their haemoglobin levels twice a week. Using this information, the Healthcare Professional can plot the progression of their condition and take this into account when prescribing or adjusting medication. This ensures that they’re only invited into the hospital when the benefits outweigh the risks.

Speaking about the collaboration, Professor Bhandari from Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said ‘“We have been working in collaboration with Entia on Luma to allow many of
our highly vulnerable renal anaemia patients to remain safely at home whilst still optimising their haemoglobin levels. This improves their quality of life, empowers them with their own healthcare and potentially reduces the burden on hospitals. This is the future”

This partnership represents a growth in Entia’s existing relationship with Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Entia and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with support from government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s industrial strategy challenge fund, were already working together on the development of one of their upcoming home monitoring solutions.

Andy Jones, Medical Manufacturing Challenge Director at Innovate UK/UKRI said “This project is a perfect, real-life example of the unique health infrastructure the UK is building, by funding science innovation, working with the NHS, academia and small business and creating a whole new medicines, medical technology and vaccines industry that can tackle today’s health challenges and those of the future.”

COVID-19 however, resulted in an accelerated deployment of the solution, which was fully supported by Innovate UK. Entia intends to also use this deployment to gather insight and further develop their home monitoring solutions. Now, thanks to further funding from Innovate UK’s COVID-19 response fund, additional NHS partnerships have been made possible.

This is only the beginning of the work Entia have planned to make life-changing health conditions easier to live with, by treating and managing them from home. Entia are also in the late stages of development for a more advanced device, which has been specifically designed to assist people living with cancer.

Entia are engaging similar NHS partnerships in regard to their home monitoring solutions, and welcome any enquiries via their website: enta.co

Entia is a medical technology company focused on advanced home monitoring solutions for people living with life-changing conditions, such as cancer.

Their revolutionary approach to home monitoring allows patients to monitor their conditions from the comfort of their own home, reducing hospital visits and giving them back more control of their lives. Their devices enable Healthcare professionals to monitor patients’ conditions remotely and Healthcare providers to streamline the provision of care, reducing the number of outpatient appointments and optimising the use of their critical resources.

Each solution is purpose-built to improve the treatment of specific health conditions and co-designed with all stakeholders from patient to hospital.

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