Among the most widely-used treatments for thalassaemia is the administration of an iron-chelating drug with a portable infusion pump.
Thalassaemia (from the Greek "anaemia of the sea", as it is particularly common in and around coastal areas) is a hereditary disease in which there is a genetic defect in the production of haemoglobin, a substance which transports oxygen via iron molecules.
There are a number of different kinds of anaemia existing mainly in Mediterranean countries as well as equatorial Africa and Southeast Asia. Currently, the disease can be found in almost all parts of the world due to the migration of people affected by the disorder.
Beta thalassemia major, or Cooley's disease, is the most serious form of Mediterranean anaemia, passed on when both parents are carriers of a gene which is unable to synthesise the beta haemoglobin chain as it should.
The bone marrow of a patient affected by thalassaemia does not produce the right amounts of haemoglobin.
In order to survive, the patient must receive continuous blood transfusions, which tends to lead to an excessive accumulation of iron in the tissues.
This excess can cause the body serious harm (heart failure, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, etc).
One of the most important therapies in the treatment of such a condition is constituted by the subcutaneous administration of iron-chelating drugs with an infusion pump. This binds the iron and thus allows it to be eliminated.
The aim is the keep iron levels below the body's toxicity threshold, providing patients with a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy.
The first infusion pump designed by Canè was constructed for the Thalassaemia Centre of the University of Turin, and was needed to administrate an iron-chelating drug called Desferal.
Initially, the pump was a syringe pusher, though over a period of time the company came up with a new miniaturised model: the Crono T infusion pump.
Surgical intervention is not necessary in the application of this treatment, and therefore such a solution is minimally invasive.
The drug must be administered subcutaneously on a daily basis over a period of 8-12 hours.
The Crono T infusion pump is compatible with any infusion set designed for subcutaneous use.
Given the small dimensions and lightness (127g) of the infusion pump, it is ideal for use in the home.
The infusion pump can be worn and attached to a fabric cord, or at the waist with the help of a case similar to those used for mobile phones, guaranteeing discretion during the course of the treatment.