Blood Substitutes, Past Present and Future

Glen Dietz, ART, CLS
About a year ago, Jim Stemp asked me to give a lecture at this conference on stroma free hemoglobin. I felt it would be tough to fill a whole hour discussing this one topic, and that there would be only a small group of delegates who would be interested in the talk. Since I have a broader interest in substitutes for all blood components, I offered to expanded the material that would be covered. Hopefully each of you will find your special areas of interest are discussed during the next hour.

Throughout history, there have been antidotal reports of attempts to transfuse blood to humans and to animals. These experiments often involved the transfusion of blood from one species to a recipient of another species. A variety of blood substitutes including wine, beer, and milk have also been tried, all without a satisfactory response.

Even though the safety of blood transfusion in humans was greatly improved with the discovery of the ABO blood group system, the search for satisfactory blood substitutes continues.

There has also been a great deal of investigation of ways to limit the use of homologous blood transfusion. Although the use of pre-deposit or intraoperative autologous transfusion has been available for over 50 years, it has only become popular over the past few years. There have been major improvements in surgical technique which reduce the amount of blood that is shed during surgery. These include:

Forward to Surgical Intervention to Limit Blood Exposure

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