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FRIDAY, Sept. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Treating sickle cell anemia with the drug hydroxyurea may also reverse related heart abnormalities, a new study suggests.

Heart issues are common among people with sickle cell disease. Among them are enlargement of the heart and an impaired ability to relax heart muscles, a condition called diastolic dysfunction that can lead t...

Barnacles may be the bane of ships, but they could point to new ways to quickly halt severe bleeding, researchers report.

Barnacles are small crustaceans that attach to rocks, ship hulls and even other animals, such as whales. Their ability to cling to surfaces that are often wet and dirty caught the attention of researchers trying to find new ways to seal wounds in emergency situations.<...

There's a severe blood shortage in the United States due to a recent surge in trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries, the American Red Cross says.

The Red Cross is appealing to Americans to roll up their sleeves and donate blood immediately.

"Our teams are working around the clock to meet the extraordinary blood needs of hospitals and patients -- distributing about 7...

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine may be linked with rare cases of low blood platelet levels, a new study suggests.

Platelets are blood cells that help prevent blood loss when vessels are damaged. Low platelet levels may cause no symptoms, but they can lead to an increased risk of bleeding or clotting.

Researchers analyzed data from 5.4 million people in Scotland, including 2.5 milli...

COVID-19 does not pose a threat to the safety of the United States' blood supply under existing donor screening guidelines, researchers report.

For the study, the investigators reviewed the results of tests for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in nearly 18,000 pools of donated blood, representative of over 257,800 single blood donations that were collected between March and September 2020 from ...

Certain blood types may increase a person's risk of different health problems, a new study suggests.

The research confirms some previous findings and reveals new links between blood types and diseases, according to the authors of the study published April 27 in the journal eLife.

"There is still very little information available about whether people with RhD-positive or RhD...

Blood plasma from people recovering from COVID-19 could help prevent severe illness in older patients newly infected with the virus, a small new Argentinian study finds.

The findings give new hope to the notion that so-called "convalescent plasma" might have a role to play in treating COVID-19. Earlier studies had been disappointing, showing the treatment had little effect on people with...

The American Red Cross is urging COVID-19 survivors to donate blood plasma for hospital patients who need it to recover.

As an incentive to help boost the national convalescent plasma shortage, the Red Cross has teamed up with the National Football League and is offering donors a chance to win two tickets to next year's Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.

The Red Cross is especially aski...

Sickle cell disease increases the risk of death or serious complications from COVID-19 infection, a pair of new studies suggests.

People with sickle cell disease -- a genetic blood disorder predominantly found in Black people -- are 6.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general Black population of the United States, one study found.

"Sickle cell disease patients should...

A pair of studies shed new light on why a relatively rare blood cancer -- acute myeloid leukemia (AML) -- is more deadly among Black patients.

The takeaways: Where patients live and their access to quality health care matter. And even when Black people with AML have the same access to treatment as white patients, their survival is shorter -- something genetic differences might explain.

A pair of new gene therapies promise a potentially lasting cure for sickle cell disease by subtly altering the genetic information in patients' bone marrow cells, researchers report.

Both therapies work by switching on a gene that promotes production of fetal hemoglobin, said Dr. Lewis Hsu, chief medical officer of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

Sickle cell dis...

If you use an oxygen concentrator and a pulse oximeter at home, proper use is crucial, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Conditions such as asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the flu and COVID-19 can all cause oxygen levels in the body to drop. When levels are too low, oxygen therapy may be required to boost them.

One way to get extra oxygen i...

There's more evidence that blood type may affect a person's risk for COVID-19 and severe illness from the disease.

The findings are reported in a pair of studies published Oct. 14 in the journal Blood Advances.

In one, researchers compared more than 473,000 people in Denmark with COVID-19 to more than 2.2 million people in the general population.

Among the C...

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients face an increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots, a new review indicates.

The odds of a clot are highest for the most critically ill patients. Analysis of 66 studies found that 23% of COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) developed a blood clot in the leg, known as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Overall prevalence of ...

Antibodies against COVID-19 in people who've recovered from the disease begin to vanish about three months after they develop symptoms, researchers say.

This suggests that sooner is better for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate antibody-containing blood plasma for convalescent plasma treatment, according to the authors of a small study published Oct. 1 in the journal Blood.<...

If you're unfortunate enough to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, a common blood marker may predict how severe your illness might become, new research shows.

The blood marker is called "red cell distribution width" (RDW) -- basically, the greater the variance in the size of red blood cells, the poorer a patient's prognosis, the study authors explained.

A COVID-19 pa...

Using the donated blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors to treat patients in the throes of severe coronavirus illness has met with some controversy. But a small new study suggests it could have real merit.

The study of 39 patients with severe COVID-19 who were treated at one New York City hospital found the treatment appeared to bump up survival, researchers said.

Plasma is th...

Researchers may have found a way for people with severe hemophilia to take their standard treatment less often, if the results of an early trial pan out.

In what experts called a feat of bioengineering, scientists were able to create a "fusion protein" that may extend the interval between treatments for hemophilia -- from about every couple of days to once a week.

The early ...

Most strokes strike when an artery in the brain suddenly becomes blocked, but new research shows a rarer cause of strokes is becoming more common.

It's called cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), and it happens when a vein in the brain is clogged. While CVT is estimated to cause less than 1% of all strokes, scientists discovered it is now more prevalent and affecting a different demo...

Blood plasma transfusions from people who have developed antibodies to the new coronavirus appear to be safe for many COVID-19 patients, a large study suggests.

The experimental treatment -- called convalescent plasma therapy -- is popular because no drug has been approved specifically to treat coronavirus infection.

A week after 20,000 COVID-19 patients deemed at risk for ...

A mainstay of 18th-century medicine -- the lowly leech -- has made something of a comeback in the 21st century. That's largely due to powerful blood thinners the parasitic worm secretes naturally.

Now, genetic research could give a major boost to the medical use of leeches, scientists say.

An international team sequenced the genome of a European leech called Hirudo medici...

The American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies so donors can learn whether they've been exposed to the new coronavirus.

"We recognize that individuals and public health organizations desire more information about COVID-19, and as an organization dedicated to helping others, the Red Cross is fortunate to be able to help during this pan...

Teens who donate blood are at significant risk for long-term iron deficiency, a new study warns.

The concern comes as 16- to 18-year-olds have emerged as one of the fastest-growing groups of blood donors nationwide. But this study of nearly 31,000 teens who gave blood more than once between 2016 and 2018 found that roughly one in 10 were already iron-deficient when they donated for t...

The blood plasma of people who have recovered from the new coronavirus infection may help critically ill COVID-19 patients recover, a new study finds.

Of 25 sick patients given plasma transfusions, 19 improved and 11 left the hospital, the researchers reported. None of the patients had side effects from the transfusion.

"While physician scientists around the world scrambled ...

As U.S. hospitals resume procedures put on hold by the coronavirus outbreak, there's an urgent need for blood and platelet donations, the American Red Cross says.

Following a sharp decline in demand for blood products that began in early April, hospitals' needs have recently spiked 30%.

"Blood donors are essential to ensuring the continued health of their community by ma...

A new blood test might help doctors predict whether someone's multiple sclerosis may soon get worse.

The test looks for a substance called neurofilament light chain. It's a nerve protein that can be detected when nerve cells die. People with higher levels of it were more likely to have worsening MS effects within the next year.

"In a disease like MS that is so unpredictabl...

Could blood plasma drawn from people who've recovered from COVID-19 help prevent new coronavirus infections or ease symptoms in those already infected?

Two groups of researchers aim to find out.

One clinical trial, from doctors at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, will try to determine whether ...

The severity of COVID-19 illness may be influenced by what researchers call "cytokine storms."

In a new study, investigators assessed 522 COVID-19 patients, aged 5 days to 97 years, who were admitted to two hospitals in Wuhan, China, in December and January. The study also included a "control group" of 40 healthy people.

Compared to the control group, 76% of COVID-19 pat...

Domenico Piccininni is one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have had a COVID-19 infection and recovered after a bit of misery, but with no lasting complications.

What sets him apart from many other survivors is that Piccininni is trying to help people who now have more severe COVID-19 infections.

On Thursday, the Atlanta-area resident donated his plasma. Plasma i...

Pancreatic cancer is known as a "silent killer" because it's often detected far too late. But there's hope a new blood test may be able to spot the most common type of pancreatic tumor in its early stages.

In a small study, the test also appeared to be able to accurately identify the stage of pancreatic cancer in patients -- helping to determine the most appropriate treatment, researc...

America is in urgent need of blood donations during the coronavirus pandemic, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will relax donor restrictions placed on gay and bisexual men and others.

Specifically, the FDA has changed the abstinence period required for gay and bisexual blood donors from 12 months to 3 months.

"We know that reducing the deferral peri...

As concerns about the new coronavirus escalate, the American Red Cross urges healthy, eligible people to give blood or platelets to help prevent blood shortages.

"We're asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it's critical that plans include a readily avail...

Gastrointestinal bleeding in patients taking blood thinners for an irregular heartbeat should prompt doctors to check for colon cancer, a new study advises.

Researchers looked at more than 125,000 patients in Denmark with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (a-fib). They reported that those with gastrointestinal bleeding were 11 to 24 times more likely than others to be diag...

People with blood types A and B may have higher risks for developing dangerous blood clots compared to people who have type O blood. That's according to new research that also showed a slightly higher risk for certain types of heart disease among the A and B groups.

Past research has shown a likely link between heart disease and the ABO gene that exists in people with A, B or AB bloo...

Patients taking the blood thinner warfarin have been told that it should be taken at night, but a new study found the time of day doesn't matter.

"Whether warfarin is taken in the morning, or the evening, its therapeutic effect is the same," said lead researcher Dr. Scott Garrison, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

...

Want free tickets to Super Bowl LIV in Miami? Roll up your sleeve and give blood this week.

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for all blood types, but especially for type O.

People who donate blood or platelets by Jan. 19 will be entered automatically in a drawing for two tickets to this year's big game.

It's part of an effort by the Red Cross and the Nat...

A condition called lymphopenia -- low levels of lymphocyte blood cells -- could be an early warning for illness, a new study suggests.

Danish researchers linked the condition to a 60% increased risk of death from any cause during the study period.

A low lymphocyte count was also associated with a 1.5- to 2.8-fold increased risk of death from cancer, heart disease, respir...

Imagine a blood test that could spot whether you are aging too quickly.

New research suggests it's not the stuff of science fiction anymore.

The scientists analyzed plasma -- the cell-free, fluid part of blood -- from more than 4,200 people between the ages of 18 and 95, and found a link between 373 proteins and aging.

"We've known for a long time that measuring ce...

If you ever get a blood transfusion, that supposedly pure blood is likely to contain something more: caffeine, cough medicine and an anti-anxiety drug, a new study suggests.

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers analyzed 18 batches of human blood serum pooled from multiple donors, and every batch tested positive for caffeine.

In addition, 13 batches contained the anti-an...

People with inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes or blood clots may be at increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis -- and people with rheumatoid arthritis are at added risk for heart disease, blood clots and sleep apnea, researchers say.

Their findings could improve understanding of how rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops and also lead to earlier detection and screening for other...

How much pain you feel when blood samples are taken could depend on how nice the person wielding the needle is, new research suggests.

Patients were 390% more likely to say their pain was well-controlled when the person taking their blood was courteous, according to a study presented recently at the Anesthesiology annual meeting, in Orlando.

"It's not surprising that a c...

There's early promise in the quest for a blood test that might spot breast cancer up to five years before clinical signs of the disease appear, researchers say.

The test identifies specific immune system "autoantibodies," British researchers explained. The immune system produces the antibodies when it comes into contact with tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), which are produced by brea...

Men who are on the blood-thinning drug warfarin have more difficulty taking the medication if they live alone, but the same is not true for women, a new study finds.

Warfarin (brand-name Coumadin) is a common anti-clotting treatment to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart rhythm disorder.

Continuous bloo...

Sepsis is a life-threatening infection that lands its victims in the hospital, but the dangers don't end for survivors who have high levels of inflammation long after being discharged, a new study finds.

"Sepsis is the leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Patients discharged from the hospital aren't out of the woods yet. Approximately one out of every three sepsis survi...

If a close relative has had blood cancer, you're more likely to get it, a large new study reports.

The researchers analyzed data from 16 million people in Sweden, including more than 153,000 diagnosed with blood cancer and more than 391,000 of their first-degree relatives: parents, siblings or children.

Patients with a family link accounted for 4.1% of all blood cancer ...

Pregnant women should keep in mind that donating their umbilical cord blood could save lives, a clinical cell therapy expert says.

Cord blood is the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a healthy baby, said Fabio Triolo. He is director of the Cellular Therapy Core laboratories at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Cord bl...

Even mild anemia -- low levels of hemoglobin in the blood -- may raise a person's odds for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study finds.

The same Dutch research also found a correlation between heightened dementia risk and high blood levels of hemoglobin.

"With around 10% of people over age 65 having anemia in the Americas and Europe, and up to 45...

Red blood cell donations from women who have been pregnant won't cause fatal reactions in patients who get the blood, a new study finds.

Earlier studies have suggested that women who have been pregnant shouldn't give blood, because antibodies that develop during pregnancy could cause a potentially deadly complication in recipients of their blood. That complication is called transfusi...

Older age raises the odds of many ills, but for adults with gout, it's the younger ones who have the highest risk for developing a serious blood clot, new research indicates.

Gout patients of any age have a 25% greater risk of developing a blood clot deep in the veins in the first 10 years after diagnosis, the British study found.

But "the risk was 79% higher in gou...

More than 1 million Americans have a genetic condition that pushes their cholesterol to dangerously high levels, but many don't know it.

Now, researchers offer a possible way to get more people with so-called familial hypercholesterolemia into treatment for this potentially life-threatening problem.

"The blood donor system could be a portal to understand who has genetic chol...