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winkey151
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Did you know that if you are in an accident, there is a chance that you will be given experimental blood? If you want to know if your City is participating in the study... read the article.

Interesting...

quote:
Northfield Lab's experimental blood substitute Polyheme is currently in randomized phase III clinical trials recruiting patients without informed consent all over the country. At one point, it was being tested in as many as 27 cities; it is still being tested in 23 hospitals in 20 cities.
Artificial Blood Experiment: Is Your City Participating?
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Gaoics79
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This is amazing. Not the informed consent issue, but the fact that they're already at the stage where they clearly have some workable artificial blood substitute. I had no idea this existed. How does it work? Is it a 100% viable substitute for natural blood? Any known drawbacks? I'm curious. Wouldn't this revolutionize the whole blood-donor/transfusion system? No more worrying about blood-types, supply, etc... No shortages... Very cool.
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Dagonee
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quote:
shortages
Polyheme FAQ

It's made from blood, so there's still the chance of shortages and transmission of HIV and hepatitis. It's main purpose is to allow transfusion in the field - it has a shelf life of a year and no cross-typing problems, so EMTs can use it without typing.

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winkey151
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"How does it work? Is it a 100% viable substitute for natural blood? Any known drawbacks?"

I guess you will find out if you happen to need a blood transfusion in one of the participating cities...

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FiredrakeRAGE
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The point of this is not that it is a substitute for actual blood. The point is that it is a very good substitute for blood, and is significantly better than common saline. When a person is bleeding badly or in shock, you generally administer large amounts of saline to keep their blood pressure high before they hit the hospital. The issue is that saline cannot carry oxygen, and so your patient can suffer organ damage or death despite saline, oxygen, and additional medications.

In one case a guy I was working with actually had the patient alive upon reaching the hospital, but bleeding pink due to the amount of saline used.

Blood transfusions on the fly are not an option because blood cannot easily be stored, and the blood type of a person is often difficult to gauge. This could save thousands of lives, domestically and on the battlefield. More to the point, if you're being given polyheme, your condition is one that necessitates its use.

I'll not argue that there is not a consent problem here. There are, however, exceptions to consent rules for a reason.

--Firedrake

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pickled shuttlecock
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This totally rules. I have zero problem with trials like this if it's been proven safe in more controlled but randomized populations. Should a surgeon have to ask for your consent to use his newfangled scalpel that's been proven safe and effective?

By the way, a lot of research into transfusion alternatives is driven by Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Adam Lassek
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I'm sorry, I just can't help but think of Ultraviolet when I read this. I bet it's the vampires.
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maniacal_engineer
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In the movie "the abyss" they have that 'oxygenated flourocarbon emulsion' that is based on actual stuff. I have seen pictures of pab rats with all the blood replaced with the fluid and they look a little wierd, the pink nose, eyes, and ears go white and they look a little ghostly. I thought that stuff was already being tested on people. Jehovah's witnesses and such that are opposed to transfusions.
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