The Future of Blood Substitutes
- Demand for blood is up, as there are many more surgeries in the United States, many of them elective, yet qualified donors keep decreasing. Disease and tainted blood supplies cause panic and with a shelf life of only 42 days, there is a constant need for continued blood donation.
- According to the Red Cross, approximately 2 million donors will be lost over the next year because of new restrictions placed on donors who have lived in Europe and could be potential carriers of vCJD, Mad Cow.
- The British government bought an American company to provide blood to the UK because they cannot use their own blood because of the risk of contamination with vCJD (Mad Cow Disease).
- With funding for blood substitutes coming from the NIH and the Department of Defense, manufacturers of safe blood substitutes are scrambling to be the forerunner.
- All these factors are leading to more and more need to find and develop a safe blood and effective blood substitute to be used worldwide.