As Christmas draws near, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of the Perth Blood Institute (PBI). Your help is crucial in making a difference to the prevention, treatment, and cure of blood disorders.

This year has been a particularly challenging year for PBI, as it has for many. This means that your support is especially welcome, as it is enabling us to continue to conduct high quality research in blood disorder management, offer patients access to clinical trials and continue to engage with and support the community. 

THROMBOSIS AUSTRALIA

During November, we were delighted to launch the much-anticipated PBI initiative, Thrombosis Australia – a central information and resource hub of information to increase awareness and understanding of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and stroke, and improve their prevention, early detection and management.

Thrombosis Australia is the first initiative of its kind in Australia and we are pleased to have developed this platform to address any questions the community may have.

It is known that 70% of blood clots are preventable if treated early. Our goal is to raise awareness of thrombosis and highlight prevention measures to reduce risk in the community.

HELP US

Our work to raise awareness of blood disorders, including thrombosis, would not be possible without the generous support we receive from the PBI community. If you are able, please donate to our Christmas Appeal and help us to improve the quality of life of people living with blood disorders.

Every donation truly makes a difference to our efforts, so please give what you can. It is as a result of your help that we can fund vital translational research including thrombosis, haemophilia and blood cancers; support clinical research investigations leading to the development of new treatments or interventions; develop educational programs to foster the next generation of career haematologists; and provide education and support programs to health professionals, patients and their families.

GROUND-BREAKING CLINICAL TRIAL

Last Christmas we shared John’s incredible journey to good health with you. John experienced continuous life-affecting health issues as a result of being born with haemophilia, which saw him undertake long stays in hospital in acute pain, particularly as a young man. Following participation in a PBI clinical trial, John is now leading a normal life.

“With three grandchildren who also have haemophilia A, I was committed to participating in any trial that could potentially lead to life-changing treatments. I have taken part in several trials, but the last one, for Hemlibra® was the game changer, and for the first time in over 50 years I have had no bleeding issues, in fact not even a bruise,” says John.

The drug was found to provide widespread relief for patients who are at risk of life-threatening bleeding events and joint damage.

As a result, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, has recently announced that the commonwealth and state governments have all agreed to fund the drug Hemlibra®, which will be available free-of-charge to eligible people with haemophilia across Australia, through the National Blood Authority. PBI is proud to have been associated with this ground-breaking clinical trial. You can read John’s story at pbi.org.au.

ALICIA’S STORY

Alicia was a very active and healthy 19-year-old when, during a social game of netball, she rolled her ankle and was diagnosed with ligament damage.

“I have always played sport at a high level, with both tennis and netball being my main passions.” Alicia

At the time she was working as a medical receptionist and on hearing her symptoms of pins and needles, one of the GPs suggested she have an urgent ultrasound as he believed she had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Alicia was shocked as she had always related the condition with ‘older people and those who smoked, drank heavily or were physically inactive’.

After being diagnosed with a blood clot, Alicia was put on Warfarin and required daily blood tests. A few years later Alicia experienced her second clot while playing netball. Since then she has been diagnosed with multiple further DVTs as the result of injury or surgery. Even when Alicia was put on anticoagulants before and after surgeries, she still developed clots.

More recently, Alicia, by now a personal trainer, became out of breath during a cardio boxing class, the first symptom of multiple pulmonary embolisms (PEs) she had developed in the lower lobe of her right lung.  As a result of her PEs, Alicia is now on lifelong blood thinners.

Alicia is keen to spread awareness, especially to younger people, that DVT can strike anyone at any time regardless of age and lifestyle. Read Alicia’s full story at thrombosisaustralia.org.au.

THANK YOU

As we all prepare for the festive season and give thanks under very different circumstances, perhaps with absent loved ones from our tables, we send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.

Thank you for your support. We truly couldn’t do it without you!

Yours sincerely,

Ross Baker

Chair, Perth Blood Institute