A team of scientists at Japan’s National Defense Medical College have created artificial blood that could be used in any patient, regardless of their blood type, Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun reports.
If it moves into human trials, the invention could prove extremely useful in cases when blood of a certain type isn’t available.
“It is difficult to stock a sufficient amount of blood for transfusions in such regions as remote islands,” Manabu Kinoshita, associate professor of immunology at the National Defense Medical College and co-author of the paper, told Asahi. “The artificial blood will be able to save the lives of people who otherwise could not be saved.”
According to the team’s paper, published in the U.S. medical journal Transfusion in July, the blood could also be used to treat patients before they even arrive at the hospital since their blood type doesn’t have to be confirmed for transfusions.
The blood consists of platelets and red blood cells that can be safely stored at room temperature for more than a year. Platelets ensure that the blood can clot and heal over time, while red blood cells ensure that oxygen reaches vital organs.
So far, the team has successfully tested the blood in rabbits. The blood managed to save most of them from “trauma-induced massive hemorrhage,” according to the paper.
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READ MORE: Artificial blood developed for patients of any blood type [The Asahi Shimbun]
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