American Red Cross First to Collect, Store and Distribute Platelets with Intersol® Platelet Additive Solution

October 29, 2010

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The North Central Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross in St. Paul, Minn. became the first blood center in North America to add Fenwal’s InterSol® platelet additive solution to donated platelets for transfusion. The milestone marks the start of a pilot study with Fenwal, Inc., the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Medical Center to evaluate the impact of InterSol® on patient safety.

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy often need platelet transfusions to prevent and stop bleeding. Donated platelets are currently stored in 100 percent human plasma. InterSol® replaces approximately 65 percent of the plasma, which can then be used for other purposes. Reducing the amount of human plasma in donated platelets may also decrease the number of transfusion reactions, including Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury, a rare but serious transfusion-related complication.

“The top priority of the American Red Cross is the safety of the blood supply,” said David Mair, M.D., medical director of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region. “This study is an important step in determining the long-term potential of a new way to store and transfuse platelets safely.”

A portion of platelet donations through the Red Cross will have InterSol® added. American Red Cross hospital partners the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota Medical Center are transfusing the platelet products and participating in the evaluation.

The Red Cross partners with 111 hospitals in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and eastern South Dakota, as well as more than 3,000 hospitals across the country, providing lifesaving blood products and specialized laboratory services. For more information about blood and platelet donation or to make an appointment to donate, please visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

About the American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

About Fenwal
Fenwal, Inc. became an independent company in 2007, but its roots go back to 1949 with the founding of Fenwal Laboratories. Fenwal developed the first flexible, disposable container for blood collection, eliminating complications associated with glass containers and allowing blood to be separated into therapeutic components.  Today, the company’s products and advanced collection and separation technologies are used throughout the world to help ensure a safe and available supply of lifesaving blood and blood products. Fenwal Inc. is based in Lake Zurich, Illinois. For more information, please visit