Advances in Transfusion Safety
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Although transfusion is now extremely safe, the tools of molecular biology are continually being harnessed to improve diagnosis and therapy. Viral genome testing has been introduced in the developed world for HIV and HCV, to detect donors in the infectious “window period” before sero-conversion. Pathogen inactivated fresh frozen plasma and platelets are already available, but alloimmunization has halted trials of pathogen-inactivated red cells. Development of synthetic oxygen carriers has included perflurocarbons, and crosslinked, polymerized or mutated human or bovine hemoglobin, either free or encapsulated. No perfect replacement for the human red cell is yet on the horizon.
Key WordsBacterial transmission blood substitutes perfluorocarbons hemoglobin solutions nucleic acid viral testing pathogen inactivation transfusion safety transfusion-transmitted parasites transfusion-transmitted viruses
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