The Scottish Paediatric and Adult Haemoglobinopathies Network has secured central funding from the Scottish National Services Directorate for adult patients to access FerriScan R2-MRI (the gold standard measurement of Liver Iron Concentration).

Funding was previously secured for a national paediatric FerriScan service for haemoglobinopathy patients; based at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow.

Haemoglobinopathy patients often require repeated blood transfusions which can lead to iron overload if not monitored and treated. Previously, liver biopsy was used to measure Liver Iron Concentration in these patients, but the world-leading FerriScan R2-MRI technology provides a safe, non-invasive and more accurate tool for clinicians to ensure iron levels are effectively controlled.

Newly validated FerriScan centres in Scotland include Alliance Medical’s MRI sites at the Albyn Hospital in Aberdeen and at Forth Valley to improve local access points for patients.

Albyn Hospital MRI

Alliance Medical - Albyn Hospital: Teresa Ross (Administration Assistant) & Annette Dahl (MRI Unit Manager)

Dr Beverley Robertson, Haematologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and Lead Clinician of the Scottish Paediatric and Adult Haemoglobinopathy Network, commented on the achievement: 

“We have a relatively small number of patients with haemoglobinopathies in Scotland but strive to provide the best quality of care for our patients. We feel it is important that all patients have equitable access to services and treatments as recommended in current guidelines. FerriScan provides the most accurate and standardised MRI tool for measuring Liver Iron Concentration in our patients and we are delighted to have secured central funding for the service to benefit health outcomes throughout our network.”

Initially, approximately 30 haemoglobinopathy patients in Scotland will able to access FerriScan at three hospitals in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Forth Valley for their annual scans. The FerriScan technology may also be useful in other larger patient cohorts in Scotland who are at risk of iron overload such as Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Hereditary Haemochromatosis.

 

About The Scottish Paediatric and Adult Haemoglobinopathies Network

The Scottish Paediatric and Adult Haemoglobinopathies Network was established in April 2011 to strengthen and develop specialist services for children and adults diagnosed with a Haemoglobinopathy condition.

Haemoglobinopathy is a term used to describe a group of conditions where the production of haemoglobin (the oxygen carrying protein in red blood cells) is either abnormal or inadequate. These are inherited diseases and include Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and Thalassaemia. These conditions are usually diagnosed early in life. Treatments (for example regular blood transfusions, medications) will vary according to the disease and the presence of complications.

The network supports services in improving standards of clinical care of adults and children through the establishment of continuous quality improvement systems and process.

 

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