Availability of blood during emergency is always a challenge. A huge number of lives are lost around the globe each year due to the unavailability of blood at the time of need. There are many problems associated with collecting, storing and using blood. It needs to be always kept refrigerated, has a lifespan of 42 days and has to be used within 4 hours of removal from refrigeration. But imagine if doctors had powdered blood cells that could be used just by adding water. Sounds crazy? Well then, keep reading.
Dr. Allan Doctor and his associates at Washington University, Missouri has created a substance called ErythroMer that could revolutionise medical science. This substance, when applied, can transfer Oxygen from cell to cell much like red blood cells. The substance is in early stages of development and it has already been presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of American Society of Hematology.
When applied to mice, ErythroMer was able to successfully transfer Oxygen and was able to resuscitate mice that went into hemorrhagic shock by losing 40% of blood. Much more tests are needed to be done and the element has to be observed for toxicity and side effects before it could be tested on larger animals or humans.