Hemafuse to revolutionize blood transfusion in Kenya

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The Hemafuse autotranfusion device in action.
The Hemafuse autotranfusion device in action. PHOTO/COURTESY

Hemafuse, a surgical autotransfusion device, is now available in Kenya and its entry will revolutionize blood access across the country and other African nations.

 The device, which is designed to salvage and recycle whole blood from cases of internal bleeding, is now used in 10 different hospitals across Kenya. Last month, Hemafuse received an endorsement from The First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta at the launch of the Nairobi Beyond Zero Medical Safari on January, 25 2020. The First Lady’s Beyond Zero Kenya initiative donated Hemafuse to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital to aid in the reduction of maternal deaths.

The device was created for patients suffering from internal bleeding resulting from trauma, and ruptured ectopic pregnancies and it can be used in both emergencies and scheduled procedures to recover blood from where it pools inside of a patient, into a blood bag, where it is immediately available to be re-transfused back to that same patient.

Hemafuse can be used in cases where there is no donor blood available, and even as the preferred option over donor blood. When compared to autotransfusion, the use of donor blood comes with a higher risk of disease transfer, increased length of stay, readmissions, and other complications.

“Blood is a matter of life and death, the impact of this device is saving lives that could have been lost due to lack of blood. Achieving Universal Health Coverage requires innovations for essential medicines and health technologies that save lives. Hemafuse should be part of the essential medical devices in each hospital,” Dr. Elizabeth Wala, Programme Director for Health Systems Strengthening at Amref Health Africa in Kenya said during the launch of the Beyond Zero Medical Safari.

The device is now being rolled out in Ghana, where it has already been used to save lives in cases of ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

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