Alternatives to Human Blood Resources
The discovery of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the 1980’s and its rapid evolution as a major concern for physicians and their patients has lead to many questions about the safety of the blood supply. The attention placed upon AIDS has resulted in new discoveries and technologies to reduce the risk of other transfusion complications such as hepatitis, bacterial contamination, and transfusion-associated graft versus host disease (TA-GvHD). Concerns about blood safety have focused much attention on alternative blood transfusion strategies such as autologous blood, viral inactivation, and artificial blood substitutes. In particular, there has been major interest in the development of alternatives to human blood resources such as blood substitutes. This paper will review the current status of human blood substitutes with particular emphasis upon red cell substitutes. The progress in the development of red cell substitutes will demonstrate that there will be some losses of functionality compared to human red cells, but some product characteristics may result in new therapeutic applications for these products.
KeywordsSickle Cell Anaemia Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Autologous Blood Oxygen Carrier Allogeneic Blood
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