Global status of leukocyte reduction applications

High leukocyte reduction rates achieved with nonwoven fiber filters

In 1984, Asahi Kasei Medical developed the world's first nonwoven polyester fiber leukocyte reduction filter and launched Sepacell for red blood products in Europe.
Conventional leukocyte reduction filters then in use had an efficacy rate of about 90%, while that of Sepacell was greater than 99% even in the initial applications. With superior performance and stability, Sepacell filters quickly became the worldwide standard.

With increasing awareness of the risk of infection associated with blood transfusion, Sepacell expanded its lineup, launching the Sepacell PL line for platelet transfusion in 1990, prestorage leukocyte reduction filters for whole blood in 1997, and prestorage leukocyte reduction filters for red blood cell concentrates in 2000.

Prestorage leukocyte reduction is a standard blood transfusion procedure in developed countries.

Prestorage leukocyte reduction is standard procedure in countries utilizing advanced blood transfusion techniques. Prestorage leukocyte reduction can reduce significant numbers of leukocytes, during or immediately after blood collection, before storage in a blood center. This reduces the release during storage of bioactive factors from leukocytes which may cause fever and lower immunoresistance and flow resistance in the transfusion recipient. It improves the safety and quality of blood products, allowing patients to receive cleaner blood.

The procedure was first introduced in France in 1998 and has been adopted in major European countries, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, etc. France, Canada, and the UK have achieved a 100% prestorage leukocyte reduction rate and made the procedure obligatory, while in the USA it is likely performed in approximately 80% of cases. In 2007, Japan became the first country in Asia to make the procedure obligatory.

In most other countries, healthcare institutions voluntarily use leukocyte reduction filters to reduce white blood cells during bedside transfusion.

Sepacell is a trademark of Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
Sepacell filter units are manufactured by Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.

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Terminology used in the field of blood transfusion.

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