Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

Should we be worried? Banked blood loses potency fast!

Posted by evolvingwheel on October 17, 2007

This news is up in the channels – about banked blood losing its ability to deliver oxygen to tissues after transfusion. Result: patients receiving tranfusions are more prone to strokes, heart attacks, and often even deaths. The cited reason is the loss of nitric oxide from blood after the RBC leaves the body. Nitric oxide is the oxygen carrier. Dr. Jonathan Stamler, a Duke researcher, has found that ability of the blood cells to deliver oxygen drops pretty fast after the blood has been removed from the source body. Stamler has also noted that if nitric oxide is added back, the banked blood regains this ability. Read the article [here].

I have several questions about this research:

  1. What kind of manifestations are seen when banked blood is first introduced to the receiver’s body and to what degree do these manifestations get debilitating with time?
  2. Did the receiving patient has any pre-disposition to any disease that got triggered for some other reason and henceforth produced a negative impact on the heart?
  3. Will a small transfusion for a relatively smaller wound produce a long-term negative impact in the receiver’s body?
  4. Bottom Line – Should I be worried? 

There is a WSJ blog that talks about this finding and exhanges some nice views.

Another group at Duke, led by Timothy McMahon, MD, PhD, found that red blood cells in banked blood lost some of their flexibility in storage. That process happened more slowly than SNO-Hb loss in banked blood. According to McMohan, replenishing SNO-Hb may enable RBC to stay flexible to carry oxygen to the tissues.

A relevant article on artificial blood posted earlier: Oxycyte™ – Just another invention or a better substitute for blood?

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