ABTC Conference: Live Blog

Live Blogging

The Autologous Blood Therapy Course (ABTC):

(Click on Image to visit ABTC website)

Heading down to Jackson, Mississippi…

I’ve heard some great things about this course being offered up by Mr.Pat H. Courtney, Jr. LP, RABT (Licensed Perfusionist, Registered Autologous Blood Therapist.) .

First of all, Pat’s a nice guy (as well as being a former President of AMSECT- amongst many other things). I got stuck in a total Texas ice storm on the way there in early February of this year- and had to turn around. He was very helpful and transferred my reservation to the June course.

This is me High Tailing it home last February… Not quite Apollo 13ish- but could have been.

Why not Live Blog It ?

I’ve never done it- and this seems like a good opportunity. Not really like a simul-cast or anything, a Live Blog of the event would basically allow me to drop down some notes and thoughts on the course as it is happening.

Giving continuing education that instant-communication-live-gritty feel. Is there a Category IV ceu section for that (in the 3 yr report) ?

Pearl, Mississippi


Drove through Louisiana from Texas, after stopping over on the way for a night in Shrevesport. Crossed the big river (Mississippi of Huck Finn fame) And got to the Jameson Inn- home of the ABT conference, in Pearl MS.

As I signed in, I met Mr. Pat Courtney for the very first time. As we talked about my previously abandoned effort (see above) to get to this course, the office manager of the Inn chimed in that she remembered my phone call from the icy storm back in February, and it definitely reinforced the feeling that this course was more of a community effort as opposed to the nondescript morass of the mega hotel.

At home- but not home cooking, very professional, no-nonsense, get it done perfusion.

Initial Thoughts

I like the area. Off the Interstate (I-20), easy access, and surrounded by a lot of great places to eat as well as shop. It isn’t ostentatious (you don’t have to wear a suit to negotiate valet parking), and it cuts to the chase…

Fly/drive in, take the course, go home, and take it home with you the next day.

Here are the bonuses:

  • The package is great- 3 days stay in the hotel- covered by the course fee.
  • Breakfast & Lunches included
  • Check in is seamless (all you do is sign in- and get your room key… all the details are already taken care of)
  • 27-31 ceu’s
  • Very down to earth- The point is to meet the agenda
  • Bass Pro Shop right around the corner
  • Logans Steak House across the street
  • Sam’s club if you forgot something

My goals for day 1:

  • Take a lot of notes
  • Bring back something that improves our practice
  • Focus on the “pain management” aspect of PRP (the rationale most of our GYN Doc’s refer to as the primary reason they deploy PRP).
  • Get a better handle on the economics and future potential of ABT
  • Reconnect or connect with my perfusion “peeps”

Day 1: Friday:

Working with a tired laptop, and a slow connection so keeping it simple for now. The basics? Stellar morning lecture on Hematology 1o1 from Dr. Ryan (phD), more on the content later. Pat Courtney was/is shockingly astute regarding autologous blood product applications, not often I feel simple minded, but today was revealing.

I’ll finish this entry with a couple of pictures from the poolside chat we ended the day with (to complete the last 45 contact minutes).

Yeah- It’s a “Men In Black” moment….

Nice Shirts …

Hematology 101

Dr.Ryan is an intelligent and clever presenter. he obviously loves his topic.

Salient points of todays discussions:

Macrophage digestion video is fascinating
Platelet growth factor plays huge role in PRP’s outcomes.
PRP decreases edema and swelling- resulting in decreases hydrostatic pressure- and ultimately reduces postoperative pain.
Interesting concept regarding delayed PRP effects in that PRP attracts and increases Macrophage activity around postoperative day 7-8. Macrophage’s release more platelet growth factor than is available from PRP. Basically a delayed postoperative boost for tissue healing.
Most effective aspect of PRP is not based on platelet count as much as it’s impact in terms of accelerating the rate of healing.

Pat’s Beaver Dam Analogy:

The first bit of work the beaver engages in is gathering the sticks (fibrin strands) to lay down the foundation. The river (blood stream) still flows through the fibrin structure.

Then tree leaves (RBC’s) are gathered to fill in the gaps.

And the fete’ de cmplis’ is the addition of mud (platelets) to compete the dam (platelet plug).

The tide of the river (bleeding) has been stemmed so to speak.

Friday Afternoon

Historical perspective of blood sequestration and transfusions. A brief moment (1 year) where physicians tried to use milk as a transfusate. Total fail !


A little more relaxed group this morning.


Baby boomers and cosmetic surgery with PRP applications. Reimbursements and how using a cell saver is reimbursable- as opposed to table top devices which have no Medicare billing component.

Specialty areas for PRP are discussed: Basically Pat can find a good reason for PRP in every surgical specialty.
Laser resurfacing for facelifts seems to have favorable outcomes.
Clearly platelet gel is exploding in the cosmetic surgery industry. These procedures allow for direct billing by the service provider- and self pay patients.

Suggests using PPP and dry lap on IMA site and eternal edges- when closing sternum and wipe off the edges to allow subsequent PRP application to penetrate to bone/ cartilage surface.

A sternal wound infection is estimated to cost $135.000 and a 40% mortality rate.

Concentrations and dilutions are critical to PRP efficacy. 4 to 6 fold increase.

Guest Speaker: Nina

Multiple Platelet Gel Recipient

(Breast cancer in her family Hx) Decides to have a bilateral mastectomy. Incidental meeting with Pat leads to spontaneous decision to have platelet gel treatment in conjunction with her surgery (first for her surgeon).

Remarkable convalescence.

Cholecystectomy within a year. (1st for this surgeon in terms of platelet gel usage).

Impressive respect for Pat. Very brave and outgoing speaker.

3rd procedure: Removal of breast implant with no Gel usage. Terrible results in terms of postoperative pain. Developed pseudomonis infection.

4 th procedure:

Breast implant reinserted. Gel was used on one side only. So now the patient has a baseline for comparison (gel v. Non- gel side). Results are predictable.

5 th procedure: Bladder suspension ( again another first for her surgeon). Excellent recovery.

This patient’s life is one calamity after another.

She opts for liposuction with Gel. No bruising whatsoever the next day.

The big reveal … Shows off her latissimus dorsi incision sites- one with gel and one without. The room gets kinduv’ quiet.

Follow up slide show of post op pics.