Biopure Corp. in Cambridge, Mass., recently reported that it will ramp up its production of Oxyglobin, the only oxygen therapeutic to receive marketing clearance from the U.S. FDA and the European Commission for veterinary use.
The product, which is indicated for the treatment of canine anemia, has been severely limited in supply for the past four years.
“It’s a product that has been sorely missed,” says Patricia Kaufman, director of Animal Blood Bank Inc.
“It takes pressure off veterinarians because a lot of them can’t keep blood on hand. Blood is an expensive product that you can’t afford to just throw out if you don’t use it.
Oxyglobin, on the other hand, has a long shelf life, and it fills that 24-hour gap between needing a blood product and being able to get it.”
Anne Hale, DVM, owner and director of Midwest Animal Blood Services Inc. in Stockbridge, Mich., says that veterinary blood banks see Oxyglobin as a great opportunity to provide immediate-need oxygen transport to patients.
“This product doesn’t preclude the use of blood components prepared at the blood banks but enhances our ability to provide immediate life-saving therapy to our veterinary patients,” she says. “Oxyglobin also lets us provide transfusion options with exotic or rare species, where classical blood banking is not possible due to a lack of compatible donors.”
Rebecca Nusbaum, CVT, VTS (ECC), director and donor coordinator at HemoSolutions in Colorado Springs, Colo., says that general practices rarely keep blood products on hand because they do expire.
“If they keep typing systems available and a product like Oxyglobin on hand, they can type the patient, order the blood for next-day delivery, administer the Oxyglobin as a bridge and then administer the blood products the next day,” she says.
In addition to Oxyglobin, Nusbaum says general practitioners should consider keeping fresh frozen plasma in their freezer.
“It is stable for a year in the freezer as fresh frozen plasma, and then if they haven’t used it, it can be relabeled as frozen plasma and kept in the freezer for an additional four years. Frozen plasma is a perfectly acceptable form of treatment for a variety of issues.”
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