Why do we need Blood Substitutes?
- Blood Substitutes have universal compatibility therefore typing and cross matching is not required.
- The blood substitute must eliminate disease transmission such as HIV, Mad Cow Disease, and Hepatitis.
- Blood substitutes have longer shelf lives than regular blood, therefore can be stored longer, whereas blood only lasts for 42 days.
- Blood substitutes are more robust than regular blood and can withstand more harsh environments such as not requiring refrigeration and can be used in the pre-hospital environment.
- Synthetic blood delivers oxygen to the body faster than real blood which can limit bodily injury, particularly during heart attack.
- There are more operations today than in the past, many of which are elective and require large amounts of blood, on average 6 pints.