Having blood available to carry out transfusions is crucial during an emergency: unfortunately blood requires special treatment, it must be refrigerated and always having it "ready to use is not easy", but how would the situation change if the medical staff were equipped with packs of powdered blood to be mixed with water for immediate use?
Transfusion medicine has been struggling for decades with the limitations represented by the difficult storage of blood. The blood must be kept cold, has a half-life of 42 days and then is no longer usable, and once taken out of the refrigerator it can only be used during the next 4 hours: a real nightmare for rescuers throughout the world. world, and causes a constant need that constantly requires donors. At the University of Saint Louis, Missouri, researchers are turning a sci-fi scenario into reality: powdered blood.
The ongoing project has produced an artificial blood surrogate, called ErythroMer: this is an embryonic result that has nevertheless achieved significant results in tests on mice. Studies have shown that ErythroMer it is able to properly release oxygen into tissues just like normal blood, and doctors have been able to "revive" rats in shock that had lost 40% of their blood.
The results were presented last December at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.
Several stages of research will still be needed to determine a possible use of "powdered blood" on humans: the next steps are those relating to tests on larger animals to exclude toxicity of all kinds, production on a larger scale and subsequently tests on the 'man. If it works, with the use of ErythroMer a huge range of critical situations can be addressed in a totally new way.
[note color = "green"]Further Reading: The page dedicated to Erythromer on the website of the University of Saint Louis: https://otm.wustl.edu/technologies/erythromer-blood-substitute/[/grade]