TOP program launched

Acacia Research (Newport Beach, California) reported that, after a successful beta test, its CombiMatrix group's subsidiary, CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics (CMDX), has launched its Bacterial Artificial Chromosome array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) Technical Only Program (TOP) for reference laboratories and other clients.

TOP partners will market CMDX array services to their clients and contract for services with CMDX. After partners receive orders and samples, they will be sent to CMDX's CLIA Laboratory, where all testing will be completed (the technical portion).

The CombiMatrix Group is developing a platform technology to produce customizable arrays.

DaVita reports kidney disease increase

DaVita (El Segundo, California), in an effort to raise awareness about the more serious forms of kidney disease during National Kidney Month, reported that the number of people receiving dialysis treatments increased by nearly 95,000 in the U.S. in 2006. This increase is attributable to the rising number of Americans affected by end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the most serious form of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Today, 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with CKD while another 20 million more are at risk for kidney disease but are unaware of their condition. CKD develops when the kidneys lose most of their ability to remove waste and maintain fluid and chemical balances in the body. ESRD is the most advanced stage of the disease, frequently resulting in kidney failure that requires dialysis treatment. More than 330,000 Americans undergo regular dialysis treatment, roughly double the number a decade ago, according to DaVita.

Major causes of kidney disease include diabetes and high blood pressure. More than 33% of kidney failure patients are African American, while the number of Hispanic patients getting ESRD treatment has increased roughly 52% within the past decade, DaVita reported.

DaVita has also developed a "Seed of Awareness" program to help support The Kidney TRUST and help touch the lives of those affected by CKD. For every "seed" planted by visitors to the DaVita Web during National Kidney Month (March), DaVita will donate $1 to The Kidney TRUST, a non-profit organization whose mission is "to create a world of hope, health, action and engagement for those affected by chronic kidney disease."

DaVita manages more than 1,200 outpatient facilities and acute units, serving roughly 100,000 patients.

AHA introduces personal CPR learning

The American Heart Association (Dallas) has introduced the Infant CPR Anytime Personal Learning Program. The training program can be used to learn skills that could help save the life of an infant (newborn-12 months) at risk of choking. The kit includes a one-of-a-kind infant CPR manikin, a 22-minute skills training DVD and two fold-out Quick-Reference Skills Reminders. The Mini Baby manikin is an inflatable version of a traditional infant CPR manikin and was designed by Laerdal Medical, a manufacturer of therapy and training products. An instructional DVD walks users through each step of the training, from inflating the manikin, doing chest compressions and rescue breathing, to how to relieve choking in an infant. Because the training materials are contained in a take-home kit, Infant CPR Anytime allows all family members to learn and brush up on their skills periodically.

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