Baxter's ALYX System Wins 2005 Medical Design Excellence Award

DEERFIELD, Ill., April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Baxter Healthcare Corporation announced today the selection of the ALYX(R) Component Collection System as a winner in the 2005 Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) competition, a premier awards program for the medical technology community.

The ALYX System is a portable, automated blood collection system that allows eligible donors to give two units of red blood cells, the blood component most frequently transfused, rather than one pint of whole blood. The instrument's compact size, ease of use, and speed allow blood collectors to use it in a number of settings, including mobile blood drives at offices, schools and churches to help increase the supply of critically needed red blood cells.

Selected as a winner in the General Hospital Devices & Therapeutics category, Baxter's ALYX System was recognized for its achievements in several areas including product innovation, design and engineering, end-user benefit, and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing and healthcare delivery.

"We are honored that the ALYX System was selected for the prestigious Medical Design Excellence Award," said Kevin McCulloch, general manager for Baxter's Transfusion Therapies division. "This award provides important recognition for the efforts and dedication of our team in designing an instrument to help increase the supply of red blood cells so that this critical blood component can be available to patients in need."

Of the three primary blood components used in transfusions -- red blood cells, platelets and plasma -- red blood cells are the most frequently transfused. Annually, approximately 15 million units of red blood cells are transfused in the United States to people undergoing critical surgeries and therapies.

Sponsored by Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry magazine and organized by Canon Communications, MDEA recognizes engineers, scientists, designers, and clinicians who are responsible for the groundbreaking innovations that are changing the face of healthcare. Each year, a multidisciplinary panel of third-party jurors with expertise in biomedical engineering, industrial design, medicine, and diagnostics review MDEA entries. The 2005 jury selected 30 winners in 10 medical product categories from hundreds of entries.

Blood centers across the United States, including the industry's largest suppliers, are adopting the ALYX System, giving it positive marks for ease of use, speed and red cell quality. Blood donor evaluations have also highlighted donor comfort and satisfaction with the ALYX System.

Because donors on the ALYX System are giving two units of red blood cells instead of one, donor eligibility criteria are more stringent on the weight and blood count requirements. Please contact your blood center to find out if you qualify to donate on the ALYX System.

Baxter Healthcare Corporation is the principal U.S. operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. . Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists health-care professionals and their patients with the treatment of complex medical conditions, including cancer, hemophilia, immune disorders, kidney disease and trauma. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients' lives. For more information about Baxter, please visit .

Baxter and Alyx are trademarks of Baxter International Inc.

Baxter International Inc.

CONTACT: Amy Cynkar, +1-847-940-5166, or Deborah Spak, +1-847-948-2349,both of Baxter

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