View Full Version : Synthetic Blood Could Ensure Supply
13th May 2011
THE trauma case of a Jehovah’s Witness patient whose life was saved by synthetic blood is just a taste of the coming era of safe and plentiful blood supplies, experts say.
Associate Professor Mark Fitzgerald, director of trauma services at The Alfred Hos pital, Melbourne, sourced a haemoglobin-based oxygen carrier from the US to save the woman’s life last year, securing the last 10 units of the product, which is not yet marketed here.
The advantage of the HBOC-201 bovine-derived product (OPK Biotech) is that it’s not only a volume expander but can carry oxygen, he said.
Medical Journal of Australia 2011; 194:471-73
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/3wwwdh5 (http://tinyurl.com/3wwwdh5)
05-17-11, 02:43 AM
It is synthetic - how safe is it really. Personally, if I needed blood (and then I only want it if it is a life or death situation) I would rather have the real thing than a synthetic substitute.
05-17-11, 08:09 AM
I can see a synthetic blood product being useful in emergencies, disasters, and on the battlefield.
Reesacat; Speaking of battlefields, which has become a new interest of mine since my youngest son joined the army four weeks ago, some of the stuff US soldiers carry in their first aid packs on the front line is amazing. Example, a blood clotting promoter called Novo7, $500 a vial, I believe they carry 5 or 6 of these ! Now without wishing to sound gruesome, I have this vision of a GI having just stepped on a land mine, laying on the ground, no legs, screaming hysterically, pain off the Richter scale then remembering - now where is my Novo7, just crack a couple of vials find my syringes inject myself and I will be fine. They must train em tough, if it was me, I would be laying there with only one thought - OK I'm dead!
05-17-11, 12:16 PM
Having a son who did a tour in the Army, I can say they DO train 'em tough. But as often as not, a GI might use that clotting agent on an injured buddy.
05-17-11, 01:20 PM
I was watching a bit on the news or read it somewhere, but US service personel train in the buddy system because whoever gets injured is usually in shock (especially from an explosion) so they may not be able to react in time.
The survival rates from explosive devices have increased due to technology like this-it stops the massive blood loss so the wounded can be transported to surgical units.
05-17-11, 03:19 PM
In fact, survival rates in Iraq and Afghanistan would be far lower were it not for life-saving technology developed since Vietnam and Desert Storm. Now we can bring 'em home just devastatingly traumatized...but alive!
05-17-11, 06:16 PM
One thing that is starting to be addressed from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars is the head trauma from the IED and other explosive devices. Before people didn't survive them, so dealing with brain injury wasn't an issue. Now if we have a vet who has been in an explosion they need to be monitored for head trauma, even months later.
My tuppence worth: It is not gruesome, it is realistic. As Reesacat suggested, one carries one's first aid kit so that a fellow soldier, Marine, etc., or Corpsman can use the contents, as appropriate on one's own wounds. A Medic or Corpsman can not carry all of the medical stuff that will be needed, so the individual carries one's own first aid needs. It is for your own injuries!
As to the traumatic brain injuries, these are just beginning to be recognized by the military medical powers that be. In the experience of many of my friends, they seem to go out of their way to claim that the inability to tie one's shoelaces was a condition that was present when one entered the military. Such colossal BS! Just when the individual is at his/her weakest, in body and in mind, the greatest challenges are presented by the medical power structure.
I was being flippant when mentioning self injecting after an injury on the battlefield. Islander, interesting you mentioned life-saving technology since Vietnam war. One of the spin offs from that era is something you can now buy everyday 'Super Glue'. It was initially developed for Medics in Vietnam to be used to temporarily hold together gaping wounds while the victim was air lifted to a surgical unit. Just run a bead of it along one edge of the wound, hold together for 20 seconds, done. The surgeons would then simply cut out the strip of glued skin, debride and or correct anything else then stitch back up. For a temporary solution it certainly holds well, have you ever got a little bit of super glue on your fingers while repairing something? If so, white vinegar is the answer.
05-17-11, 10:08 PM
Actually, if you've ever had to use an Epi-pen, you know it's possible to be injured and scared and still administer a shot to yourself.
And no, LabDoc, I've never been stupid, clumsy or whatever it takes, enough to superglue myself to anything, including other parts of myself, but I've read about such cases. Not always funny....
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