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Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the blood-2.0 dept.

Medicine 172

Zothecula (1870348) writes According to the World Health Organization, over 107 million blood donations are collected around the globe every year, most of which goes on to help save lives. However, while the need for blood is global, much of that which is donated is not accessible to many who need it, such as those in developing countries. And of the blood donated in industrialized countries, the amount often falls short of requirements. To help address this imbalance, scientists at the University of Essex are developing an artificial blood substitute. It would be able to be stored at room temperatures for up to two years, which would allow it to be distributed worldwide without the need for refrigeration and make it immediately accessible at the site of natural disasters.

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Old News (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | about 2 months ago | (#47218367)

I read about this in Wired more than 5 years ago.

Re:Old News (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 1 month ago | (#47218655)

TIL this is how the walking dead starts

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218749)

TWIL that TIL is becoming a very popular TLA.

Re:Old News (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 1 month ago | (#47218915)

wait I thought that was I am Legend. no wait that was the cure for Cancer.

Sign of the Crab (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about 1 month ago | (#47219001)

I don't know about a cure for Cancer, but I do know that Cancer can largely be prevented by abstaining from sex in October.

Re:Sign of the Crab (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219121)

I'm a Virgo you insensitive clod!

Re:Sign of the Crab (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219443)

I'm a Virgo you insensitive clod!

I think you meant to say, "I'm a *virgin* you insensitive clod!", FTFY ;^)

Re:Sign of the Crab (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 1 month ago | (#47220207)

He's a BSG virgin, typing away at his computron.

Re:Old News (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 1 month ago | (#47218935)

Yep, like holographic storage it's always five years away. This time it's another promising attempt. If it's like the dozen or so previous promising attempts, the substance will become less promising once it gets through further testing. Eventually it's likely that some approach will succeed - it is not at all clear that this one has any better chance than before (the TFA wasn't terribly insightful).

But this would be a Big Deal. A really big deal if it were priced reasonably. Blood and blood products are actually pretty expensive despite it being a non profit entity in the US - testing, storage and transport all run up a pretty hefty bill. Something that was storable (especially without refrigeration) and didn't require blood typing would be a huge win.

Re:Old News (5, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about 1 month ago | (#47219263)

Of course they still haven't made any mention of the *most* important questions:

Do vampires find it palatable enough to reduce their rampant predation on our species? And if so will they now leave us alone, or exterminate us as an unnecessary threat?

Re:Old News (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 1 month ago | (#47219093)

I read about this working in a medical research lab 20 years ago.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47220409)

As mentioned, existing methods mostly work, but can sometimes lead to very serious health problems. Thus until a method does not cause those problems it will not be approved by health agencies. Working in the lab does not equal in vivo.

Tru Blood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218431)

And soon we'll be hearing about how vampires actually exist...

Re:Tru Blood (1)

tepples (727027) | about 1 month ago | (#47219011)

I thought vampires had switched to pig blood from butcher shops by now.

Re:Tru Blood (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 1 month ago | (#47219321)

think of the Jewish and Muslim vampires, you insensitive clod!

Re:Tru Blood (1)

tepples (727027) | about 1 month ago | (#47219359)

I haven't read the Qur'an, but I do know Jews aren't supposed to ingest blood anyway.--Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11, 17:14.

Let gay men donate (4, Insightful)

Noxal (816780) | about 1 month ago | (#47218515)

You know what else would help the shortage? Let gay men donate.

Let gay men donate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218591)

they would try if they ever get off crystal (meth)

Let gay men donate (2)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 1 month ago | (#47218601)

Agreed. The only reason they were ever banned from donating is the fear of disease. A fear that's bigoted and unfounded. Just force all blood donors to get tested for infection, regardless of orientation, then give the clean ones a certfification with expiry. Re-test as required to continue donating.

Re:Let gay men donate (2)

_merlin (160982) | about 1 month ago | (#47218975)

Well it comes down to statistics. In Sydney, there's now supposedly greater than 20% HIV infection rate amongst gay men. It's quite high, and much higher than the HIV infection rate amongst the general population. This probably isn't the case everywhere, but in Sydney, a randomly selected gay guy is far more likely to be carrying HIV than a randomly selected person from the rest of the population.

In Sydney the HIV infection rate amongst prostitutes is actually very low. However in Hanoi it's supposedly 30% (now this number might be inflated - prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, so the government might be stretching the truth a little to justify policy). One again, this is far higher than the HIV rate amongst the general population. A randomly selected prostitute in Hanoi is far more likely to be carrying HIV than a randomly selected person from the general population.

What's the HIV infection rate amongst gay men in Hanoi? I don't know, but for argument's sake let's say it's lower than the general population. If this were the case, using the HIV statistic alone, it would make sense to accept blood donations from gay men but not prostitutes in Hanoi. But it makes sense to accept blood donations from prostitutes but not gay men in Sydney (one again, based on the HIV statistic alone; there are other statistics that could be used to argue against accepting blood donations from prostitutes in Sydney).

Profiling is imperfect, but in theory it's still a useful like of defence. In reality it won't work so well, as people can lie pretty easily, especially if there's an incentive to doing so (e.g. prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, so a prostitute would be unlikely to list this as their occupation when donating blood). A lot of people also have some basic sense of responsibility, so gay or not a person who knows they're HIV positive is generally unlikely to donate blood (unless they're an arsehole, but then they'd likely lie to pass criteria anyway). Ultimately it's best to just trust no-one and test everything.

Re:Let gay men donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47220367)

In South Africa the highest incidence of HIV infection is actually in heterosexual woman.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 1 month ago | (#47219059)

Agreed. The only reason they were ever banned from donating is the fear of disease. A fear that's bigoted and unfounded. Just force all blood donors to get tested for infection, regardless of orientation, then give the clean ones a certfification with expiry. Re-test as required to continue donating.

Wrong. Gay men and/or people with HIV/AIDs should not be discriminated against but lets not pretend there is no difference in contraction rates.

Your chance of contracting HIV is 18x higher if you're having anal sex. Gay men are far more likely to be having anal sex though not always (I have a gay friend that hates it an only does Oral... strange as that may be, he says its a common preference.) When those rules were put in place there was no test for HIV. Now testing is easy and cheap so the rules are pretty silly. Also, heterosexuals are having a lot more anal sex than they were 20yrs ago so they should be testing everything anyway.

Again, no one should be discriminated against, but those rules were put into place when kids were dying from transfusions of blood from well meaning men that were sick and had no way of knowing. There was a lot of fear mongering back then, but these rules were not part of it.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 1 month ago | (#47219087)

If you've got a lethal or debilitating pathogen lurking around in your blood, you should be discriminated against with respect to donating blood. That's why I propose that all donors should be tested, no matter what their sexual orientation is. You're right, testing is easy and cheap now. So do it to everyone and certify the clean donors.

Re:Let gay men donate (5, Interesting)

QQBoss (2527196) | about 1 month ago | (#47219457)

All donors ARE tested for HIV (at least in USA, Canada, and China), but the test is post-donation and not pre-donation. Donated blood is tested for far more than just HIV, as well, and failing that post-donation test can result in a temporary or permanent ban from future donations. Prescreening of donors reduces the cost of testing relative to acceptable donations, which is a useful tool for keeping the cost of the existing donor supply lower than it would be otherwise. The American Red Cross revisits this policy about every 5 years, IIRC, and goes through the math of where the percentage breakpoints are for breakeven results- when any population crosses that line the wrong way, a new question goes on the prescreening survey. Homosexually active men are no more discriminated against than people who got tattoos or ear piercings within a certain time period, or who lived in certain countries (don't be from Cameroon or Nigeria, for example). [ncsucr.org] Want to change that? Try changing the incidence of disease in the indentifiable community below that break point, because manipulating only the math doesn't turn out well in any scenario.

Giving a blood test for all the possible BBPs (blood borne pathogens) and other issues prior to donating is not cheap if the number of donors goes up by any significant amount of people who wouldn't qualify, so a prescreening survey is going to remain the most cost effective way of dealing with these issues and keeping the number of people who would dilute the quality of the blood supply low.

If you don't qualify to pass the written prescreening test, and you still want to donate blood, at least in the USA you can do that. There is a box you can check to indicate that you want your blood disposed of after donation. This is most commonly used by drug users and homosexuals who are donating in the presence of family, co-workers, or friends who the donor feels are not aware of their situation. It wastes staff time and some property (collection bags, etc...), but allows an individual to maintain their privacy for a lower cost than a prescreening blood test would cost.

Re:Let gay men donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47220003)

The last time I donated blood(for a relative), my blood was tested before I was allowed to donate. I thought that would be the norm as it makes sense and not waste blood after being donated. Why it is different from this procedure doesn't seem to make sense...

Re:Let gay men donate (3, Informative)

QQBoss (2527196) | about 1 month ago | (#47220061)

Donating for a specific person, in particular for yourself, is a special situation where things are done differently. For example, many of the conditions that would make you ineligible to donate to another person are waived if you are donating for personal use (and the blood is tossed if you wind up not needing it). Though it also depends on what you mean 'my blood was tested...' If you mean that you were tested for blood type and anemia, things that can be done with only the blood from a finger prick, 100% of people receive those tests in any modern medical environment (and even most not so modern ones). If you mean they did a full screening for HIV and other BBPs before you were allowed to give more than a finger prick's worth, then that is a specific situation not covered by general donation rules. For general situations, the written/oral prescreening is a much less expensive solution to having to run a myriad of tests (some cheap, some not so cheap) on a lot of blood that never should have been donated in the first place.

Re:Let gay men donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219389)

Gay men are far more likely to be having anal sex...

...with Republicans but that's no reason to prevent them giving blood.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 1 month ago | (#47219333)

disagreed. the fear of disease is quite justified, the percentage of gay men with AIDS is very high, CDC says 20%.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 1 month ago | (#47219395)

then give the clean ones a certification with expiry. Re-test as required to continue donating.

Certification shmertication. Test every single damn time. That's what they do up here in Canada. When you donate blood, they take a half-dozen additional vials of blood specifically for testing along with the unit itself.

Predicting the next epidemic (2)

Guppy (12314) | about 1 month ago | (#47220575)

Just force all blood donors to get tested for infection, regardless of orientation, then give the clean ones a certfification with expiry. Re-test as required to continue donating.

Back in the 80's, one of the things we learned from the opening stages of the AIDS epidemic is the possibility that a new disease agent will enter the human population, sight unseen. If such a new virus were to appear, it could spread silently for years before being identified (just has HIV did).

It is this risk which had led to the exclusion of the gay population. The elevated risk for HIV infection in that population serves as a marker -- it demonstrates that they have the epidemiological risk characteristics to become the initial host for such a new disease, should it ever appear. By excluding higher-risk groups, the idea is to slow down the opening stages of the next epidemic.

Re:Let gay men donate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218613)

Them gays should keep their AIDS to themselves

Re:Let gay men donate (5, Interesting)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 1 month ago | (#47218629)

And develop better screening tests - they rejected me and told me never to donate again because I have a protein in my blood that triggers a false positive on the cheap HIV test. A proper, more expensive, test works just fine though.

That was a fun letter to get... starts off saying (paraphrasing) "Thank you for your donation, unfortunately your blood tested positive for HIV and cannot be accepted"... at this point most sane people might start freaking out and stop reading. When you do read on it explains it but I wonder how many people started calling people or crying before reading on.

Re:Let gay men donate (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 1 month ago | (#47218837)

Is there a half-life on Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?

They won't let "mad cows" from Britain donate here in Australia. But the outbreak over there was a couple of decades ago.

Re:Let gay men donate (2)

peragrin (659227) | about 1 month ago | (#47218919)

Actually Mad Cow randomly pops up now and again. Aggressive testing though limits it's affect to a couple dozen cattle as opposed to whole herds.

Re:Let gay men donate (2)

compro01 (777531) | about 1 month ago | (#47219365)

Is there a half-life on Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease?

CJD has an insanely long incubation period. It can be over 50 years between infection and the onset of symptoms and they could be infectious for a significant portion of that.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

sjames (1099) | about 1 month ago | (#47219373)

It is thought that it can take several decades to become symptomatic in some cases.

Re:Let gay men donate (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218659)

The reason that gay men typically aren't allowed to donate isn't because they're gay. Rather, it's because the sexual practices they often engage in, namely anal sex, happen to readily transmit HIV and other STIs. The higher prevalence of such carriers within the gay community further increases the risk of contaminated blood.

How do you propose this be dealt with? Clearly allowing tainted blood to be used is not an option. It does no good to have large amounts of unusable blood available.

Re:Let gay men donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218725)

How about testing them for STIs before donating like the rest of the populace?

Re:Let gay men donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218791)

Expensive and pointless. You're talking about a small niche: gay men without other obvious risk factors who want to donate.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Noxal (816780) | about 1 month ago | (#47218737)

1. Heterosexuals have more anal sex than homosexuals just by sheer volume (probably not by proportion though.

2. African Americans are at higher risk for HIV than whites are. Should we just ban blacks from donating blood because they are at a higher risk of contracting and transmitting HIV?

I'm sorry but "these people have higher risk factors" is not acceptable when you can just screen the damned blood.

Re:Let gay men donate (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 1 month ago | (#47219207)

Gay men, as a group, have the highest rate of HIV infection by far.
Screening isn't perfect.

It makes far more sense to prevent high risk blood from ever getting into the system than it does to draw it, store it, and try to detect it, and dispose of it it's bad.
If someone's feelings get hurt, too fucking bad. I'd rather not die from tainted blood like my friend's mother did.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 1 month ago | (#47219339)

you have silly ideas about screening, a newly infected HIV case won't register on test for weeks.

20% of heterosexuals don't have HIV, 20% of gay men do

be happy lesbians can donate

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219553)

20% of heterosexuals don't have HIV, 20% of gay men do

80% of heterosexuals have HIV?!

Re:Let gay men donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218823)

Yes, but it's not any more of a risk than when heterosexuals engage in the same activities. It's specifically men that have sex with men. Women can have anal sex and still be OK to donate. They can even exchange drugs for the service and be cleared to give again within 2 years.

Barring people that are clean from donating is ridiculous. And it's even more ridiculous now that there's same sex marriage and people might well have only had sex with their partner.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Noxal (816780) | about 1 month ago | (#47218845)

Precisely. A prostitute is able to donate while a monogamous gay man is not.
(I don't mean any offense to sex workers by that; prostitution should be 100% legal)

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 1 month ago | (#47219349)

so let's do the sensible thing and ban prostitutes just like we quite sensibly ban gay men.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 1 month ago | (#47219579)

Really? ISTR that the last time I donated, there was a question about taking and/or giving money for sex.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 1 month ago | (#47219331)

If you're going based off rate of infection then those from Florida, New York, and Louisiana should not be allowed to donate either since they're more than twice as likely as someone from Virginia and more than 18 times more likely than someone from Vermont.

The fact is that they test all the blood for HIV/AIDS and a bunch of other things because if they don't they've got some hefty liability to deal with. What they are likely worried about is freshly infected individuals who are not diagnosed yet and won't show up on the test as a result. Those individuals are nearly as likely in the general population as the MSM population (something like 57% of new cases are MSM and 43% are from the rest of the population, according to the CDC) Eliminating 11 million (~3.5%) people from the donating pool because 28,000 of them a year will be diagnosed with HIV... debatable whether or not that's reasonable because if you eliminate all other factors New Yorkers have a higher infection rate (0.0029 vs 0.0025 for MSM)

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 1 month ago | (#47220317)

If you're going based off rate of infection then those from Florida, New York, and Louisiana should not be allowed to donate either since they're more than twice as likely as someone from Virginia and more than 18 times more likely than someone from Vermont.

Shouldn't you specify a baseline infection rate if you're going to throw around "twice as likely" and "18 times more likely"?

There's a difference between a base rate of 0.0001% going up to 0.0018%, and 1% going up to 18%.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Thiez (1281866) | about 1 month ago | (#47218753)

While one might argue that forbidding them from donating is unfair, or has a basis in incorrect assumptions, let us not pretend that allowing gay men to donate blood would make a significant difference if a shortage exists. What percentage of the population is a homosexual male? Perhaps 3%?

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Noxal (816780) | about 1 month ago | (#47218787)

Anywhere from 1% to 10% of the population. But yes, you're absolutely correct. My reply wasn't meant to detract from the original post at all; I'm ALL for artificial blood! Of course I'm gaymarried to a biomedical engineer so there's that. :P

Re:Let gay men donate (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219101)

I'm sorry, but this is just politically correct feel good bullshit.

Things that preclude you from donating blood:
Intravenous drug use
Promiscuous Sex (Yeah, that's right, all those people who say prostitutes can donate are wrong!)
Having recently traveled to certain parts of the world
Having recently received a piercing from a place other than a certified clinic (read piercing or tattoo parlor)
If you've recently had a cold (and in fact, if you come down with a cold a few days later, they ask you notify them so they can dispose of the donation)
If you don't weigh enough

It's hardly singling out gays. And lets be honest here, peoples lives are LITERALLY at risk. And historically, gays tend to be more promiscuous than straights. If you're going to argue this, please explain why HIV was originally going to be named GIV. It's because the disease was so overwhelmingly limited to the gay population that at the headlines were just saying "mystery illness traveling through gay communities". Also throw in that anal sex is the best way to transmit the disease short of blood exchange. And a lot of that has to do with the common occurrence of rectal bleeding during anal sex. And remember, none of this is singling out gays, they just happen to live a lifestyle that tends to hit several of the high risk buttons just simply by how they choose their partners. Remember they ask about how many sexual partners you've had and when the last time you had unprotected sex was, regardless of your orientation. Why? Because even the best testing procedures fail sometimes. It's best to simply disallow high risk people from donating because people can actually die.

Stop the PC bullshit, especially when it matters. Deal with FACTS, even if they're uncomfortable.

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

HJED (1304957) | about 1 month ago | (#47219237)

Or English people. (Yes you read that right, in Australia you can't donate blood if you lived in the UK before 1996)

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about 1 month ago | (#47219257)

Why can't generally happy dudes give blood?

Re:Let gay men donate (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 1 month ago | (#47219409)

As righteous as this sounds, there are two counterpoints to make:

1) do homosexual men *really* account for such a high number of rejected donors that it would make up for the shortfall? Somehow, I doubt it.

2) they aren't rejected (only) on the unfounded stigma of increased AIDS susceptibility, but on the *legitimate* basis that anal sex is damaging to extremely sensitive tissue, making it vulnerable to increased infections in general.

Re:Let gay men donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47220349)

You know what else would help the shortage? Let gay men donate.

While there aren't a good reason to not led gay men donate I can't imagine that it would make more than a 10% difference at most. Probably less given that some blood transmittable diseases are slightly more common among gay men than the rest of the population.

Religious Objections (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218571)

I know some people reject blood transfusions based on religious beliefs - if any of those are here, would you have an objection to artificial blood?

Re:Religious Objections (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218873)

Fuck them. Let them die.

Re:Religious Objections (2)

Circlotron (764156) | about 1 month ago | (#47218917)

If it is made entirely of non-blood components I would have no objection. Same goes for non-blood volume expanders such as Haemaccel, Saline, Ringers Lactate, Dextran, etc.

Re:Religious Objections (2)

rgmoore (133276) | about 1 month ago | (#47218929)

I expect it would depend on the details. People have experimented with at least two classes of blood substitutes: hemoglobin based and fluorocarbon based. I assume people with religious scruples would be OK with fluorocarbon-based substitutes. Hemoglobin-based substitutes would probably be classified as processed blood still be off limits, unless the hemoglobin were actually recombinant and not extracted from blood.

JWs' view and my view (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 1 month ago | (#47219057)

Jehovah's Witnesses readily accept expanders [jw.org] not made from human blood. I used to associate with Jehovah's Witnesses but stopped about a year ago after discovering contradictions in the denomination's other doctrines. My own personal interpretation of "the life is in the blood" (Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11, 17:14, Acts 15:29) means I'd reject red and white blood cells, but platelets and plasma are acceptable in a pinch because those aren't living cells.

Re:JWs' view and my view (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47220415)

The red blood cells of mammals do not contain a nucleus and as such are physically unable of reproduction. One could argue that they are not truely living.

All they got was the money to do the research... (1)

AndroSyn (89960) | about 1 month ago | (#47218575)

It sounds like they just got awarded funding to do the research, which is nice and all. If money was the solution to all of the world's medical problems, surely we would have solved all sorts of issues by now, but science just doesn't work that way. Now don't get me wrong, I hope they succeed in producing a blood substitute, but I'll get excited when they have an available product.

Re:All they got was the money to do the research.. (1)

slew (2918) | about 1 month ago | (#47219737)

FWIW, they apparently have a paper [nih.gov] and a website [haemo2.com] ...

As I understand it, although many previous hemoglobin substitutes have been tried and tested, the hemoglobin tends to eventually becomes toxic. Their new approach is to re-engineer the hemoglobin molecule to attach tyrosine which apparently has the effect of allowing some natural cleaning processes in the blood to reduce toxic build up before it gets to bad (in theory)...

Of course they'll have to test it eventually. Hopefully it won't be a *opt-out* processes the way they attempted to test Polyheme (an earlier effort by Northfield labs). To opt-out, of the Polyheme trial, you had to pre-order a bracelet and *wear-it-all-the-time* to prevent being randomly given Polyheme instead of blood as part of your emergency treatment by a hospital participating in that trial.

This is nothing new (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218609)

They have been working on artificial blood for, at least, 20 years. It seems they have been very close for a long time, but it never seems to quite get there.

I used to donate blood... (2)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 1 month ago | (#47218637)

Then i found outnhow much blood banks were making selling donated blood to hospitals and other places that nneded blood or plasma. It was discusting, not to mention the huge salaries that were supported basted on these fees. I think one story was based on the Central Florida Blood Bank. I think NPR's Planet Money did a show on this also. Do not believe all those " our reserves are low, donate now". Sorry, it was Radio Lab - http://www.radiolab.org/story/... [radiolab.org]

Re:I used to donate blood... (2)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 1 month ago | (#47218649)

Please excuse my misspellings, as I am in the bathtub.

Re:I used to donate blood... (1)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 1 month ago | (#47218671)

On a saran-wrap covered iPad

Re:I used to donate blood... (1)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 1 month ago | (#47218685)

While having a glass of wine

Re:I used to donate blood... (1)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 1 month ago | (#47218689)

...oh did i mention that we just adopted a new baby boy?

sarruan drwpped ipsd id ofvertrated (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 1 month ago | (#47218795)

ands wd-40 us ecvn wporswe

Re:I used to donate blood... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 1 month ago | (#47219817)

Does the saran wrap make the ipad more comfortable to sit on? Or is it just for waterproofing?

Re:I used to donate blood... (4, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 1 month ago | (#47218775)

Then i found out how much blood banks were making selling donated blood to hospitals and other places that nneded blood or plasma.

Then donate to the red cross. They are not selling it for a profit. People who won't donate for some perception of money changing hands -- should remember, that one day you may be on the other side of this equation, and dependent on some stranger to make a blood donation, as vital to your own survival.

The fewer donated units are available, the more expensive it will get, and the more people that may die, because the supply or money wasn't there to get them the transfusion they needed.

By law, all the blood donations in the US have to come from volunteers -- donors are not allowed to sell blood.

It is very expensive to administer a blood bank; there are a lot of costs involved in getting the product, maintaining the product, ensuring the safety of the product, and distributing the product.

Red cross says they do not charge for the blood itself --- but they do recover costs from hospitals for each unit distributed which they say are the costs of recruiting donors, screening potential donors, collection of blood by trained professionals, processing, storing, labelling, and the testing of each unit of each blood unit in state of the art laboratories.

Re:I used to donate blood... (2)

rgmoore (133276) | about 1 month ago | (#47218849)

Then donate to the red cross.

Or directly to a hospital that collects its own donations. Even non-profits like the Red Cross add extra layers of bureaucracy.

Re:I used to donate blood... (2)

Hategrin (3579025) | about 1 month ago | (#47219441)

Bullshit. There is a clinic that would pay people 40 bucks a pop per "plasma" donation. I used to go there back when I was making minimum wage and flip an ounce of my plasma into a silver bullion coin once every week. That's almost 3 pounds of silver a year just to be at 90% strength for a few hours instead of 100. They would also test your blood for infection, your sugar / protean levels and what not, so it was a way to monitor your health and actually get paid for it.

Re:I used to donate blood... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219629)

Typically, those plasma collection places are making products that are not for human transfusion. When you donate your blood for transfusion they spin off the cells and make packed RBCs, then the plasma is frozen (FFP) and sometimes they are able to produce cryopreciptate, as well. If the place only takes plasma, they're doing other things besides human transfusion such as medicianl products.

Re:I used to donate blood... (3, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 1 month ago | (#47219829)

Plasma donation is likely not for transfusion into a patient; the plasma itself is valuable to pharmaceutical companies for putting together various protein products and treatments for disease. A fractionation process can be used on plasma to derive various components, such as the immunoglobins, coagulation factors, and albumin solutions.

The components of plasma are absolutely vital for the creation of certain vaccines and treatment of certain disease, such as factor VIII and factor IX proteins which may be administered in the hospital to hemophiliacs, or people suffering from liver disease or anticoag overdose.

There is a much larger market for these products than for transfusions, and there is commercial interest in obtaining the plasma needed to derive these products.

Re:I used to donate blood... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219843)

Red Cross blood goes directly to the vampires.

Re:I used to donate blood... (2)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 1 month ago | (#47219269)

I know several people who would be dead if not for you. Hate me if you like, but hospitals pay because insurance pays because people don't understand the value of insurance.

Hospitals charge because people don't pay.

People don't pay because insurance does.

Consider to whom you donate, but please do consider donating to someone.

Tell me to donate and shut up if you like, but I cannot. I can only remind you that people, flawed as they may be, deserve more than your cynicism.

This is the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218643)

This is the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse when that artificial blood turns green, it is the end..

No zombie apocalypse (1)

tepples (727027) | about 1 month ago | (#47219065)

A zombie apocalypse would end as quickly as it starts [cracked.com] .

Unnatural disasters (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 1 month ago | (#47218699)

immediately accessible at the site of natural disasters.

...So a nutcase decides to start the new revolution by blowing up a park, or an incompetent building contractor builds an apartment complex that collapses... but the victims do not get the precious artificial blood, because their disaster was unnatural.

Engineers do not play well with appeals to emotion.

Even more money... (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 1 month ago | (#47218705)

... sell the naming rights to HBO

Half-blood Prince (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218765)

Mudblood
True Blood
Blood Ties.

Come on guys, there's plenty of material here for jokes

Source web site: http://www.haemo2.com/technology. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218857)

I wish the site had more details on the molecules(s) the groups is working on. I worked on a similar project in the in the 1990s, also using E. coli as the host organism for producing the rHb, using an engineered gene to link the dimers together with a short run of amino acids to keep the tetramer together and reduce the nephrotoxicity of free native Hb in the bloodstream. This topic as long been of interest even though I've been out of the biotech game for almost 15 years now. I hope they can pull this off and bring the product to market, that would be exciting!

Of course, a Zombie Apocalypse would almost as much fun....

If vampires can't use it, it's no good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47218937)

Seriously. No mention of if vampires can drink it? News articles are useless.

Should pay donors (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 1 month ago | (#47219079)

It's incredibly ridiculous that people are asked to donate blood as a charitable act, while every other person and organization along the line, makes a hefty profit on processing and selling your donated blood, at astronomical rates, to people who have no alternative but immediate death.

If they offered even a trivial amount of money ($5 per pint) the numbers would be shored up in short order. Those with major reservations wouldn't suddenly run to the blood bank, but those who were thinking about it, anyways, would be encouraged not to procrastinate. And for the poor, struggling from paycheck to paycheck, $5 might just balance their budget during the occasional shortfall.

They already pay good money for plasma, so it's hardly unheard of.

What money can't buy, the moral limits of markets (5, Interesting)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | about 1 month ago | (#47219199)

You need to read that book.

Taking money for blood might have the opposite effect on the supply. In the book from the title, Swiss were asked if their community would be willing to host a nuclear waste storage facility for the good of the country. Many Swiss were on board with it--for the good of their country. A subset of Swiss from the same community were asked if they'd store the waste for $. Those Swiss said NO WAY. The good of their country was far more motivating for the Swiss than $.

And take me for example. $5 is in no way compensation for the enduring the needle stick and the time involved. I doubt $20 would motivate me. Maybe not even $100. However, I've donated 2 gallons or more. I do it because of this thought: one small needle stick for me, and a bit of time, and maybe someone gets to live.

And I'm the least-risk group of donors, selected partly by my lack of $ motivation. I don't need money for drugs because I don't take them. D'you really want to give drug addicts motive to donate blood to get money? Sometimes there isn't time for blood to be exhaustively screened before use.

Also, recent experience shows that the most powerful motivator for blood donation is solidarity. Blood donation went through the roof after 9/11 and other disasters. They literally couldn't stick people with needles and drain 'em fast enough.

I really think that if we want more blood supply, we need to beat the solidarity drum, and make it really convenient for people to donate.

Best,

--PeterM

Re:What money can't buy, the moral limits of marke (1)

tepples (727027) | about 1 month ago | (#47219375)

I don't need money for drugs because I don't take them. D'you really want to give drug addicts motive to donate blood to get money?

That depends on to what extent health insurance covers drugs.

Re:What money can't buy, the moral limits of marke (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 1 month ago | (#47219431)

I'm well aware of such counter-effects, but they are very unlikely to overwhelm the gains. As I said, this is used for plasma donations quite successfully.

we need to beat the solidarity drum

They have been... quite extensively... and are still coming up short.

Re:What money can't buy, the moral limits of marke (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | about 1 month ago | (#47220573)

An Army for free
Working to help industry;
That profit from thee.

Re:Should pay donors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219453)

It's incredibly ridiculous that people are asked to donate blood as a charitable act, while every other person and organization along the line, makes a hefty profit on processing and selling your donated blood, at astronomical rates, to people who have no alternative but immediate death.

If they offered even a trivial amount of money ($5 per pint) the numbers would be shored up in short order. Those with major reservations wouldn't suddenly run to the blood bank, but those who were thinking about it, anyways, would be encouraged not to procrastinate. And for the poor, struggling from paycheck to paycheck, $5 might just balance their budget during the occasional shortfall.

They already pay good money for plasma, so it's hardly unheard of.

Not exactly the same, but I put food on the table during school by selling my blood to research groups around town. I'm all for supporting research but I probably wouldn't have given anywhere near as much blood without the money changing hands. (for the record I am prohibited from donating blood for clinical purposes in the US)

biopure? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 1 month ago | (#47219217)

i remember reading a harvard business case study about a similar product called biopure in the mid-00s - that didn't end well if i remember right

Re:biopure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219463)

the annals of battlefield and emergency medicine are littered with blood substitutes that failed. I like to think that we'll get there someday, but I'm not particularly optimistic that the group in Essex is going to fare any better than earlier efforts.

Not so new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47219799)

Not exactly a blood substitute but a friend who survived the killing fields told me how the used coconut juice IV's to treat blood loss.

Re:Not so new. (1)

Circlotron (764156) | about 1 month ago | (#47220013)

My father told me they were using coconut juice in PNG during WW2. The idea was that seeing the patient wasn't competing in a triathlon they could temporarily get by with a lot less blood cells; the important thing was that there was enough liquid volume circulating, albeit diluted. Not enough volume means your heart starts sucking bubbles, then it's all over, red rover.

Meat Donor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47220023)

One little letter and this is a completely different article...

Try to donate blood (1)

arvindattri (2943171) | about 1 month ago | (#47220215)

Blood donation is very good for health so we want to donate blood.

Let me be the first to say... (0)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 1 month ago | (#47220323)

...blah!

More hiding the truth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47220455)

"much of that which is donated is not accessible to many who need it, such as those in developing countries."

Gee... I wonder why that would be...
Don't the people in 'developing' (LOL) countries have blood?

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