We hear the commercials on radio and TV asking people to donate blood. It is sometimes followed by a brief notice or announcement that they are looking for blood of a particular type. This ongoing public canvassing for blood donations illustrates the issue of blood product shortages. There is always a need for blood products but supply sometimes cannot keep up with demand.
Academic and industry researchers participated in a Phase III multi-center clinical trial and found that use of a blood substitute was relatively safe in patients under 80 years old who have a moderate need for transfusion, up to the equivalent of three units of regular blood. The study was published in the June 2008 edition of The Journal of Trauma Injury Infection and Critical Care.
- Dr. Jonathan Jahr, anesthesiologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, as well as professor of clinical anesthesiology at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and lead author of the study