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Freeze-Dried Blood May Save Soldiers' Lives

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the we've-mixed-blood-into-this-man's-coffee dept.

140

SpaceAdmiral writes "An Israeli company is working on a method to freeze-dry blood. This would enable soldiers to carry a packet of their own blood on the battlefield. If a soldier is injured and needs blood, medics could mix the dried blood with water and give the soldier a transfusion of his or her own blood. From the article: 'The idea is to take a soldier's blood, freeze it in laboratory conditions, take out the ice crystals leaving only the blood components. It will look like freeze-dried coffee in a little bag.'"

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140 comments

comedy reply based solely on title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15792428)

Save them from starving? Mmmm, blood.

Two technologies (4, Informative)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792429)

Polyheme [northfieldlabs.com] is an artificial blood that is in the final stages of field testing in the USA. Taken together, these two technologies promise to significantly reduce deaths caused by trauma on the battlefields and highways.

Re:Two technologies (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792714)

Polyheme also happens to be the stuff that they tested on accident victims without consent .

They used it in ambulances under some exception to the general rule requiring informed consent for clinical trials.

You can read more about it by poking around Google
http://www.google.com/search?q=polyheme+consent [google.com]
There was a big ethical brouhaha when the testing made the papers.

So, when you say "final stages of field testing" you really mean
"used on accident victims without their permission."

Re:Two technologies (3, Insightful)

theelectron (973857) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792872)

So, if you were passed out from a heart attack and couldn't give anyone 'consent' and an EMS rolls up with paramedics who are certified in CPR they wouldn't be saving the person's life, they would be "using CPR on a victim without their permission"?

Re:Two technologies (2, Insightful)

jnik (1733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793126)

Implied consent means that if you're so incapacitated you can't refuse treatment, a trained individual may treat you according to training. That's a little different from trials of an unapproved substance--to extend your analogy, it's closer to rolling up with a class of EMT's-in-training.

Re:Two technologies (2, Informative)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793210)

"it's closer to rolling up with a class of EMT's-in-training"


That's called rotations, and the students at my school all have to do them at different times. Believe it or not you may have an EMT in training assisting the full timers in patient care next time you call an ambulance.

Re:Two technologies (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795655)

That's called rotations, and the students at my school all have to do them at different times. Believe it or not you may have an EMT in training assisting the full timers in patient care next time you call an ambulance.

I think what the PP was saying was that it was like having only EMTs in training showing up, which would be considerably more dangerous.

Re:Two technologies (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793186)

There are several kinds of consent. Aside from the "Yes you can do this to me and I will sign an afidavit to that effect" type, there is also implied consent. If a reasonable average person would consent to me doing something to him but he is not able to consent, I can treat him under implied consent. This applies to unresponsive patients of course, but it is also used with children without parents present and some mentally ill. How many people know anything about what is onboard an ambulance? No one is in a position to object to my shoving a CombiTube down his throat (basic blind intubation) to make it easier to breathe for him, so why would the same patient have an objection to a paramedic (who has more training then an EMT) replacing the blood that he lost?

Re:Two technologies (1)

pdbaby (609052) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795684)

why would the same patient have an objection to a paramedic (who has more training then an EMT) replacing the blood that he lost?

IANBO (I Am Not Bleeding Out) but I'm guessing they might object to having their lost blood replaced with an untested synthetic substance?

Re:Two technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15795707)

There is that subtle difference between treatment and experimentation that must be considered... it is considered a normal practice to infuse persons with blood products. Infusing them with chemical substances which are not yet approved by the FDA for general use requires a different level of consent, as it is by definition experiment and there is not yet a reasonable expectation of efficiacy.

Re:Two technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15794306)

The contriversy is the details of the trial. Its a 2 phase trial for each patient. Phase I is using Polyheme in the field instead of Saline Solution. Phase II is the continued adminitration of Polyheme for up to 12 hours afterwards even if supplies of whole blood are available for transfusion. Whole blood tranfusion is the currently accepted standard treatment.
The whole trial was granted under an Emergency Treatment Exemption regulations were one can not get Informed Consent. But one very important criteria is that no other standard treament being avaliable. Once the patient is at the Emergency Room, whole blood for tranfusions is mostly likely available. This blows Phase II of their Polyheme Trial out of the Emergy Exemption Waters. The FDA F'ed up. They F'ed up very badly! They should never has approved the Polyheme trial.
And why a 12 hour period on Polyheme? It sounds like they are trying to similate soldier's being injured and treated under field conditions. Why in the hell didn't they trial it with the DoD? The Army gave the company developing Polyheme millions of dollars. The military is most likely going be their first and biggest customer. Ah. But they had the next best thing here at home. The US public and an FDA willing to bend their own rules. Power to the People. (Sheesh ya' right!) Gineau Pig's R Us. Even if Polyheme turns out to be the next big thing, it come after being shaft by our govenment.

Re:Two technologies (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792880)

But did it work? I think that matters a bit more than exactly how the testing was conducted. If it was perfectly safe, and people were saved as a result, what's the big deal?

Re:Two technologies (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792989)

They were testing it, so it was unknown if it was
perfectly safe or not.

Re:Two technologies (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793149)

Yes, but before anything is tested on humans (consent or no), there has to be a reasonable expectation of a result as good as or better than traditional methods. And look, if you're unconsious and bleeding in the back of an ambulance, you're not "perfectly safe" to begin with. That's why you have to weigh the potential consequences.

Re:Two technologies (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15794067)

Quite. My reaction was to the "well, it
worked, so, there was no risk..."
kind of thinking from the
post I responded too. I thought about putting
in something about "I would rather have this
experimental thing done than die" proviso
in my post, but I didnt, silly me.

Re:Two technologies (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793502)

Read the PolyHeme FAQ - PolyHeme FAQ [ucsd.edu]


What are the potential risks of participating in the study?

Rash

Transmission of hepatitis and HIV viruses

Unforeseen happenings


You trade the chance of dying against the chance of requiring a liver transplant, or a chronic
illness requiring lifelong medication, no medical insurance, your family not wanting to be near
you, and having no employer wanting to employ you.

Re:Two technologies (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793820)

Rash
Oh no, a rash. I bet I'll have to rub some lotion on it now. Oh why oh why couldn't they have let me die and spare me this terrible fate?
Transmission of hepatitis and HIV viruses
I can only assume these risks come from improper use of needles. I might be wrong, but if you're dealing with trained EMTs, there wouldn't be much cause for concern.
Unforeseen happenings
Standard legal coverage, whatever. The point is, all of their potential side effects are pretty weak compared to bleeding to death. Even the possible liver damage is minor compared to death. And remember that your normal blood transfusion comes with some rather serious risks as well (including, guess what, liver damage). You have to realize, all of those potential side effects are small probabilities, weighed against the enormous benefits (saving your life) that come with a higher probability. You can bet that some statistician took a look at the numbers before the trials began.

Re:Two technologies (2, Informative)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 7 years ago | (#15794305)

In the Wall Street Journal (The only paper I read. Is is great? Well, it's free for me. Free as in mandatory subscription.) they said it was linked to several heart attacks. Before the testing on accident victims. Something happened, unrelated, that ruled that trial invalid, if I remember correctly, so they didn't have to tell anyone that there was a risk of heart attack.

Re:Two technologies (1)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15797240)

Standard legal coverage, whatever.

15,000 Thalidomide children [wikipedia.org] don't quite agree with your "whatever". And that was a drug that had passed this stage of testing before the side-effects were known. I won't post a link to a picture of one of these kids as it's now illegal to goatse someone.

The point is, all of their potential side effects are pretty weak compared to bleeding to death.

Typical polar argument, you're either with us or against us, right? Well, there is a third option. Give the patient REAL blood. The point of this trial isn't that we are low on blood. What the artificial blood has in it's favour is shelf life. Nothing more.

You have to realize, all of those potential side effects are small probabilities

Potential side effects of replacing a few units of blood are "small"? I guess you aren't a doctor. This is an experimental blood replacement. The "potential" side effect is death. Less serious risks include brain damage, organ damage and loss of limbs. Your blood circulation is essential to your functioning, it's such a fundamental body system that experiementing without concent is morally reprehensible.

This trial is completely unethical in every respect. Ever doctor/nurse I have told about it has been completely dumbfounded. They don't believe me and I have to send them a link to it. It may be technically legal, but it's morally corrupt. It's indicative of the "technically legal" world we live in, where integritty was outsourced long ago. Any EMT involved in this is breaking their hippocratic oath [wikipedia.org] :

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

This trial does not benefit the patients (i.e. it's not "for the good of my patients") and has the very real potential of causing serious harm. It's just wrong wrong wrong.

Re:Two technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15793630)


But did it work? I think that matters a bit more than exactly how the testing was conducted.


The ends don't justify the means.

Re:Two technologies (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793708)

But if the end is "yay, I'm alive, not dead" and the means is "oh noes, I didn't tell them they could save my life even though I was unconscious", I'd say the ends justify the means. No?

Re:Two technologies (4, Interesting)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792950)

Actually, that is exactly what I meant. As an EMT I am required to know the law. People's lives were saved in these informed consent trials. The people who really need this stuff are in no position to sign anything. It is designed for people who will die without it, so what's the problem?

Re:Two technologies (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795666)

If this comment [slashdot.org] is correct, then the problem is that once they got to the hospital they could have administered real blood, instead of continuing with the trial without the consent of the patient, which is clearly both illegal and unethical.

Re:Two technologies (5, Insightful)

SpeedBump0619 (324581) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793194)

Hey I can play that game too:

So, instead of "used on accident victims without their permission" what you advocate is "withheld from dying people because they couldn't say yes."

Explain to me how that's better. I agree that oversight is needed for such a program. But the rules of the program only allow it in critical cases where no alternative is available. The only thing that bothers me about it is the continuation of its use once in the hospital.

If you are going to complain about this trial, don't just take one aspect of it in isolation and whine about that. Yes, no prior consent is received...but it only matters in cases where option 'b' is die.

Re:Two technologies (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793657)

Well, I don't/didn't recall the bit about Polyheme being used where "no alternative is available", nor do I recall anything about its continued use in the hospital.

The basic ethical argument against using experimental treatments (without informed consent) "in cases where option 'b' is die" is that it leads you down a slippery ethical slope in which you test all kinds of stuff on (terminal) patients.

Hopefully this doesn't Godwin the discussion, but the very first point of the Nuremberg Code [wikipedia.org] (enacted as a response to Nazi medical experimentation & effectively a part of U.S. Law) lays out that "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential."

So... while the ethics board may have OKed this particular experiment, it's not a boundry anyone should want to see pushed.

Don't forget, the worst case scenario isn't that the patient dies, it's that they live but end up with physical or neurological damage.

Re:Two technologies (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793921)


The basic ethical argument against using experimental treatments (without informed consent) "in cases where option 'b' is die" is that it leads you down a slippery ethical slope in which you test all kinds of stuff on (terminal) patients.

I don't see any slipperly slope here. The cases where this kind of treatment would be used are quite limited. It's essentially only in emergency situations where the patient is going to die without it, you can't reach a parent or spouse to get consent, and there's no other non-experimental treatment available. That slope sounds very non-slip to me.

Re:Two technologies (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793662)

One word: experimental.

I don't think there should be an FDA, but so long as FDA approval is the difference between what is experimental and what is not, it is ethically unacceptable to us it on persons who have not accepted.

Furthermore, I requested one of their "opt-out" bracelets. The have completely ignored my request. I am a motorcyclist and I don't want it if I experience a trauma.

Also, you ignore the fact that they withhold it from 50% of potential recipients as a control. If we accept your position (which I don't) then this is borderline Nazi twins trials stuff.

-Peter

Re:Two technologies (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793936)

Also, you ignore the fact that they withhold it from 50% of potential recipients as a control. If we accept your position (which I don't) then this is borderline Nazi twins trials stuff.
How is that different from giving a placebo to somebody who has given informed consent to try an experimental drug? It's perfectly standard to do this, because it's important to see if a treatment is actually effective or not. Somebody made a decision based on all available data that the potential risks of trying a new drug did not outweigh the potential benefits. And at the same time, if it's not known how much more effective the new treatment will be, they have to have a control.

Re:Two technologies (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15794421)

How is that different from giving a placebo to somebody who has given informed consent to try an experimental drug?


Um, lack of consent?

-Peter

Re:Two technologies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15793861)

Explain to me how that's better. I agree that oversight is needed for such a program. But the rules of the program only allow it in critical cases where no alternative is available. The only thing that bothers me about it is the continuation of its use once in the hospital.

If you are going to complain about this trial, don't just take one aspect of it in isolation and whine about that. Yes, no prior consent is received...but it only matters in cases where option 'b' is die.


Look, fucktard: if you're going to administer an accepted and approved medication/blood infusion when somebody is incapacitated that's one thing, but you don't go beta testing in the field just since your testee can't say "no". If option 'b' is to die, then it's tough shit. Neither you, nor the hospital, nor the manufacturer have the right to say "well hell, they're gonna bite it anyway.. guinea pig time". It's an ethics issue, one that you obviously don't grok.

Somebody ought to be sued SHITLESS, from the EMT and hospital up to those sanctioning the testing.

 

Re:Two technologies (1)

blike (716795) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795138)

Somebody ought to be sued SHITLESS, from the EMT and hospital up to those sanctioning the testing.
Why? What's the worst that could happen? They die. Oh well, they were going to die anyways. They live? Great. They wake up with AIDS? They run the same risk by receiving transfused blood. I don't see anything ethically wrong with this. If you think this is the first time things like this have been tested, then I have a bridge to sell you. How do you think we have all the techniques we have now? You think they all had consent forms or familial consent? Sorry, can't try to save your life right now, you didn't sign the papers!

Seriously, unwad your panties.

Re:Two technologies (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795694)

Why? What's the worst that could happen?

They could have some kind of religious phobia, leading them to depression and murder-suicide.

(since you ask)

Re:Two technologies (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15796902)

How would you propose testing this specific tool then? If it does what it is supposed to do, it would be extremely significant. Synthetic blood means no risk of bloodbourne pathogens being transmitted to the patient through that vector. In addition to the alleviation of the current donated blood supply (when was the last time you gave blood, btw?)

Obviously, you need to do a lot of paperwork for ordinary clinical trials, say.. cancer treatments. But emergency medicine is an area where it's always going to be difficult to obtain adequate permissions. Especially improvements that only really make sense in an emergency situations. Should that mean we make no attempts?

Re:Two technologies (0, Troll)

zamboni1138 (308944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793018)

"...promise to significantly reduce deaths caused by trauma on the battlefields..."

For Israel anyway. Instead of the 10:1 loss ratio we are seeing right now, they might be able to get to 15:1 or 20:1 against Hezbollah/Lebanon civs.

Re:Two technologies (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793471)

I am taking an objective medical point of view on this thread. The same IV for administering PolyHeme could also be used in lethal injection, but let's stay on topic. My point is that the aforementioned technologies are poised to save lives regardless of whose lives are being saved.

My hope (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792431)

It will look like freeze-dried coffee in a little bag.


I really really hope they label these bags clearly, or that morning cup of coffee may not taste quite right. Never fix your early morning coffee in the dark either.

Re:My hope (4, Funny)

JesseL (107722) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792447)

Vampires would love it though.

Re:My hope (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793847)

Vampires would love it though.

Wesley: Blood. I don't... usually drink in front of humans.
Mr. Bryce: Don't insult me, go on. It's fresh.
Wesley: Dear God! That's... nummy! [cityofangel.com]

Tastes nutty. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792463)

" really really hope they label these bags clearly, or that morning cup of coffee may not taste quite right. Never fix your early morning coffee in the dark either...."

....especially in the lab, after an all-nighter analyzing Fat Bastard's stool sample.

Re:My hope (1)

Inverted Intellect (950622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792629)

For those of us who happen to have Porphyric Hemophilia, this would probably make an excellent substitute for coffee. Wait, what am I saying? It'd probably work best to add both ground coffee beans and this freeze dried blood in a single drink... I think I'll call it... Haima Coffee! Why does it have a sort of red-brownish tinge, you ask? Oh, it's just that its... umm... greek? Yeah, greek coffee!

My blood type is caffeine (2, Funny)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793928)

It will look like freeze-dried coffee in a little bag.

There's a coffee chain in my area (Kelly's Coffee and Fudge [kellyscoffee.com] ) that has T-shirts that say, "Instant human. Just add coffee."

Somehow, that phrase suddenly seems all the more appropriate.

funny how the eyes work.. (3, Funny)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792440)

when I read the above title; 'freeze-dried bloody mary's may save soldiers lives.'

My heart was racing.

OKay... (2, Funny)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792449)

" It will look like freeze-dried coffee in a little bag."

Okay... but what about the flavor ?

Re:OKay... (3, Funny)

Bot Jockey (985182) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792514)

We've secretly replaced this soldier's freeze-dried blood with Folger's crystals... let's watch!

Re:OKay... (4, Funny)

Donut2099 (153459) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792557)

'Tom never has a second transfusion at home...'

Re:OKay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15792650)

Haha! You deserve mod points.. but I doubt others will get it.

Re:OKay... (1)

mikeinthemoment (991272) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793021)

You know wha' they say: See a broad to get that bodiac lay'er down an' smack 'em yack 'em! Holm NEEEEEEED some serious funny mod mofo pointin'!

Re:OKay... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793361)

It seems like it's made from a Robusta source, so it's probably bitter, with a hardened tone, forcibly overpowering anything you try to add to it.

Now, on the other hand, if it were from an Arabica source, it would have a softer, more cultivated tone, less aggressive and not quite as dominating.

Yes, I prefer Coffea Arabica, why do you ask?

</bashing>

Taster's Choice - Bleah! (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792450)

Looking forward to the commercials with the suave vampires.

Re:Taster's Choice - Bleah! (1)

teknoboy (541506) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792495)

Commercials with vampires wearing Ray-Ban Sunglasses and carrying freeze dried blood in small bags.... The possibilities are endless! *insert evil laughter here*

Cup O' Blood (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792456)

And needless to mention, it works great as backup rations when actual food is hard to come by! Stir in a little water, heat over a low flame and it's done!!

Looks Like The Israeli Terrorists Need This Badly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15792458)

The IDF terrorists are only capable of slaughtering defenseless women and children and are getting their asses kicked by a massively less well equipped Hezbollah force in Lebanon.

Those Hezbollah soldiers are some badass motherfuckers!

Go go Hezbollah! The world supports your war against Israeli terror.

Re:Looks Like The Israeli Terrorists Need This Bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15793058)

The world supports your war against Israeli terror.

What really pisses me off about Israel is the lies. People claim to be opposed to discrimination and segregation but then they say that Israel has a "right" to "exist" when the whole point of Israel's existance is discrimination and segregation. I mean, how can they claim to oppose discrimination and segregation but then also claim that discrimination and segregation has a "right" to exist.

It would be easy to do away with the discrimination and segregation in that part of the world: simply change Israel's name to something ethnically neutral, "Neutralia" for instance, renounce all racial, religious and ethnic discrimination and give the Palestinians full citizenship. The thing is, people don't want that. They want segregation and discrimination. They even want a "two state solution" that is basically apartheit all over again.

You ask someone why Israel should "exist" and the reasons are always about how nice it feels for Jewish people to practice discrinimation and segregation or how non-Jewish people are somehow ethnically inferior.

Now, I wouldn't much care if Israel kidnapped of few Hezbollah militants in response to Hezbollah's kidnapping of a few Israeli militants but the vastly disproportianate response is exactly what other racists like the KKK and the Nazi's would do. Back in the day, some black person would commit some minor crime and the KKK would go on a rampage and murder a bunch of black people and destroy a lot of their property. This is exactly what Israel is doing and the justification is the same: only a disproportionate response will prevent such racially inferior people from doing this again. The Nazis were the same way. When just a few of their soldiers got killed by the resistance then they would massacre entire towns.

So Israel's massacres aren't suprising. They are simply a result of the racism that is the essence of Israel's existence. What would really be nice would be if Israel would renounce racism and let the whole conflict dissapate. Hezbollah would no longer have anything to fight and they would simply dissapate. Of course, at this point Israel has done such horrible things that if Hezbollah did get its hands on a few nukes and turned Israel into a parking lot I wouldn't feel much sympathy.

If ther's one thing that pisses me off it's lies so if Israel is going to be racist scum they should at least admit that they are racist scum.

By the way, I should note that this has nothing to do with people being Jewish. White supremacists are scum but that doesn't mean that all white people are scum and Jewish supremacists/zionists/Israelis are scum but that doesn't mean all Jewish people are scum.

Israel eh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15792460)

In other news the facility was destroyed today, as a bomb from hezbollah wiped it from the face of the earth... UN refuses allegations of support for the attack

Will someone please think of the robots? (0, Offtopic)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792482)

Such insensitive clods! Don't they realize that there are robots out there in just as big a need of emergency oil transfusions!?

Murder mystery (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792500)

Sounds like the makings of a murder mystery. Hate a guy? Give him freeze-dried blood of a different type than what he's compatible with.

Re:Murder mystery (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792522)

Or just kill him in a less complicated way...

Re:Murder mystery (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792594)

I thought that's what murder mysteries were about. Maybe I watched too much CSI.

Re:Murder mystery (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792678)

Well, knowing the frequent paranoia in slashdot I thought you were implying that it could be dangerous for the reason you said. My bad! :D

fresh freeze dried (1)

humungusfungus (81155) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792661)


Vampire 1: Gah, my aching head. Got anything to kick off the evening? I'm knackered.

Vampire 2: Well....I...just a sec. Bah!

Vampire 1: What is it?

Vampire 2: Well, I've got this freeze dried stuff, but it tastes like shit.

Vampire 1: Yeah. Lets go out and see what we can find.

Re:fresh freeze dried (1)

KitFox (712780) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795169)

Today we have gone behind the scenes at this fancy vampire restaurant and replaced their normal blood with freeze dried Soldier's Crystals. Will the guests notice the difference?

Freeze-dried plasma was used in WWII (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15792673)

I was just at a WW2 faire, and they were showing dried powdered plasma used for injured soldiers. This may be a step up but isn't a brand new concept.

Old idea and a difficult problem (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15792675)

This is an idea that has been around for a long time, but as far as I know no one has gotten it to work. The problem is probably that biological membranes have a hydrophilic surface and a hydrophobic core. In water they are happy that way - the hydrophobic part hidden from the water - but once the water is removed - then they are completely unstable (air/vacuum is effectively hydrophobic). Rehydrating probably gives some incredible mess of membranes. One can add molecules like sugars to try to compensate for the loss of water, but the fact that this was not done 20 years ago tells me that must not be enough - and that there is not some trivial answer. I did not see anything in the article that made me think that these guys had some break through concept.

Re:Old idea and a difficult problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15794978)

I don't know why you didn't get modded up. Must be the anti-AC bias.

The problem is probably that biological membranes have a hydrophilic surface and a hydrophobic core.

Not just the membranes but also the proteins. While there are some proteins that are tough enough to handle being freeze dried (lyophilized), the vast majority are going to stick together irreversibly when you try to rehydrate them (if they haven't already been destroyed by the freeze drying).

I mean, maybe they could dry and then redisolve some of the hemoglobin proteins in red blood cells but no way is anything like an immune system cell going to survive freeze drying. As to the proteins floating around in the blood outside of cells, a bunch of those are clotting proteins. Clotting proteins are very unstable and form clots in response to just about anything so rehydrating them isn't going to be a picnic either.

So maybe these guys can find a way to rehydrate some hemoglobin and maybe some of the hemoglobin will even still be within the red blood cell membranes but no way are they going to be able to have a powder where you just add water and get back real blood with all its components.

Andromeda Strain (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792699)

From the blurb I was reminded of the movie Andromeda Stain. When I saw it I remember the scene where they cut open a dead man's wrist and all these red granules poured out.

Blood Flakes (1)

Truman Starr (949802) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792764)

This reminds me of the old Batman movie, when the joker/riddler/penguin group dehydrates the UN into little piles of flakes.

But seriously, is it really as simple as adding water? IANAD, but I would assume that plasma has some fundamental differences than water. Maybe it would just be as simple as a medic carrying blood-flakes for everyone, and only a few doses of the necessary plasma or whatever catalyst is needed.

Re:Blood Flakes (1)

sensei85 (989372) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793040)

By freeze-drying your blood and removing the water crystals, all you need to put back in is the water. Everything else stays in the bag (all the salts, proteins, cells, etc). That's why they call it freeze-dried...

Granted, you have to add the correct amount of water. But I'm sure they've thought of that, and instead of running around w/ pints of blood, they'll have pint bags with the right amount of water in them, and all you have to do is dump your dry blood in the top.

Re:Blood Flakes (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793044)

Blood is water, cells, and various dissolved substances. Plasma is blood without the cells. This stuff is blood without the water.

It's like Tang... (2, Funny)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792803)

Tang for Vampires....

Little vampire kids could run around with a bag of it licking their fingers and sticking them in it...

Works great, until you add confusion & nature (2, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792807)

So you're going to have a little baggy with a sticker.

If they're smart, they'll make sure that blood has to go into containers with the blood type in big letters, so that even if they get mixed up you can look at your dog tags to be sure you're not getting the wrong type of blood.

Then you also need clean water...

Today, when soldiers are wounded in action and need a blood transfusion in the battlefield or out in the field, military medics and doctors usually give them a transfusion of water and salt.

I just got done with CLS yesterday. The IV bag we use is a 500 ml bag; works great for a hangover. I guess you could mix the saline solution with this stuff but you still need a container to mix it in.

But it's hard enough to give someone an IV... now, by the time you were doing the transfusion you'd already have a saline lock in them. But imagine having to mix this stuff up and get it into a practical container while someone's going into shock.

Re:Works great, until you add confusion & natu (1)

CaptainFlyingToaster (265282) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793479)

Why not start a 500cc bolus of NS running so you can increase their BP and keep your access, then mix up the freeze-dried blood and piggy-back it onto the NS?

Peace,
Captain Flying Toaster, EMT, Nurse Interim Permitee

Re:Works great, until you add confusion & natu (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795647)

Why not start a 500cc bolus of NS running so you can increase their BP and keep your access

Not sure about the jargon (and are other readers?), but I'm guessing this means giving them a saline lock (which allows you to swap different things into the catheter) and then starting them on an IV while you mix up the instant blood.

That's pretty much what I was thinking of in the latter half of my ramb^H^H^H^Hpost.

The biggest issue, I think is the durability of whatever you mix it in. Here's a thought: I can put a needle into an IV bag to pull some solution out. Why not make the instant blood premixed at a high concentration so I can simply put a needle into the IV bag, inject it in and shake it up? That way you're just carrying a plastic vial and you've already got the needles and IV bags.

The reason durability is such an issue is because getting someone out of a combat area is a long and arduous task.

Suppose someone gets hurt. Assume your people are able to get the patient to a reasonably safe place (without further injury) and they've ensured he can breathe and that blood loss is stemmed. In a serious case (where the patient needs a transfusion), the patient is already in shock from blood loss.

So you're setting up pretty much anywhere with cover, which means you don't have a nice flat surface to work on. You've only got whatever you brought with you so you don't have a lot of spares to work with.

Once you've got a clear route to the casualty evacuation point you're going to get the patient onto a litter. This could be a Skedco or a poncho wrapped around two sticks. A proper litter will have straps, otherwise you'd probably secure the person with your belts. So now you've got a few people, wearing gear, carrying the patient and his gear and holding the bag up, while the others are pulling security.

Re:Works great, until you add confusion & natu (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795708)

Why not make the instant blood premixed at a high concentration so I can simply put a needle into the IV bag, inject it in and shake it up? That way you're just carrying a plastic vial and you've already got the needles and IV bags. The reason durability is such an issue is because getting someone out of a combat area is a long and arduous task.

Maybe they'll just make it a sort of ziploc IV bag that you seal and shake up. That would make the most sense, I'd think, and eliminate the need for an additional container.

you don't want it to be a liquid; an IV bag could conceivably take a bullet, be patched with tape, and still save someone's life (although probably causing all kinds of complications from the fact that it's filthy.) A vial, once broken, will have utterly unrecoverable contents. The powdered form probably also has a shelf life that's longer by a huge margin.

Re:Works great, until you add confusion & natu (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793584)

It doesn't seem like it has to be all that complicated.

Soldier has his freeze dried blood in a deflated sealed IV bag. Medic or CLS carries water (or saline) in appropriately sized bag. Water bag is attached to blood bag and water is squeezed/drained in. Mix as necessary. Proceed as usual.

Sure there are a couple more steps, but the logistics are not insurmountable.

The Scottish divisions of the British Army... (2, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792911)

...are going to love this. They'll be able to make their favorite food [wikipedia.org] out in the field whenever they want.

Battlefield lifesaver (2, Insightful)

konigstein (966024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15792922)

As a soldier, I would be ecstatic if this were to work as it should. I've stabilized many good friends who got plasma and blood just in a knick of time, because none was immediately available.

You will save more Israeli's (1)

jack_n_jill (642554) | more than 7 years ago | (#15794000)

You will save more Israeli's if you end the oppression and give the Palestinians their rights. Oppression has not been working too well for you, has it?

Re:You will save more Israeli's (1)

Drakai (828042) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795020)

Ha! The palestinians do not want rights. they want Isreal to cease existing. how many Isreali lives are saved by the removal of the state of Isreal?

Re:You will save more Israeli's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15795436)

The palestinians do not want rights. they want Isreal to cease existing.

Actually, it amounts to the same thing. Israel exists to deny them their rights.

To give Palestinians their rights, Israel would have to renounce all discrimination, give the Palestinians full citizenship and probably change its name to something ethnically neutral. The thing is, even though that would be an entirely just and reasonably thing to do, by most Zionist's definition, doing that would cause Israel to no longer "exist".

To put it another way: did Apartheit South Africa or Nazi Germany have a "right" to "exist". Certainly the people living in those countries had certain rights and, one way or another, there did need to be a government for those geographical regions. The Nazi and Apartheit governments did not, however, have "right" to "exist" in the sense that they had a "right" to engage in the policies that gained them notoriety.

Similarly, the people living where Israel is now (both Jews and Arabs) most definitely have certain rights as individuals (even if the current government does not respect those rights) and there does need to be a government of some sort for that geographical region. However, no government of that geographical region has any "right" to engage in policies of discrimination and segregation (which is what people really mean by Israel's "right" to "exist").

Eh... (1, Insightful)

oofoe (709282) | more than 7 years ago | (#15793640)

Speaking specifically about Israel's and neighbors current shenanigans, forget about the soldiers, let's save some civilians! Hmph.

Freeze Dried Monsters (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795000)

Reminds me of the Bugs Bunny/Marvin Martian cartoon where Marvin uses an eyedropper to reconstitute martian monsters from pellets.

I wonder if they are planning on freeze drying soldiers so they can have an instant army.

Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15795250)

I already saw this but I compared it to tea instead of coffee. I assumed you just used them like teabags because they had the strings. I think they're called tampax.

Another issue not covered (1)

sivartis (634876) | more than 7 years ago | (#15795808)

Two anonomous cowards raised the excellent point of the cellular membranes not surviving the freeze-drying process, and thus the componants that make blood work in the first place would be lost. But another question I have would be, if the purpose of this "product" is to have a lightweight supply of emergency blood but you still need purified water to reconstitute it, where are you going to get/store/transport the water?

Not only that, but if you're going to use a soldier's own blood, you're going to have to draw a heck of a lot in order for it to be useful if he/she really needs an emergency transfusion. You put in a lot more blood in situations like that than you take out in a routine withdrawal.
TR
~~~~~
"Even pirates like chocolate chip cookies."

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15795869)

But does it come in DeCaf?

Didnt judah folkman do this in the 60s? (1)

HoldenFrost (991485) | more than 7 years ago | (#15796083)

From http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/2805cance r.html [pbs.org] In 1961 the U.S. Navy introduced the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It was designed to stay at sea for months at a time. But there was a problem. The blood supply could only be stored for about three weeks. To help find a long-lasting substitute for whole blood the Navy drafted young doctors, among them a surgeon named Judah Folkman. JUDAH FOLKMAN: I was assigned to work on the problem of, "could you dry the hemoglobin part of blood, the red part, like you dry coffee, and then reconstitute it by adding salt water and have it all ready to go?" NARRATOR: Dr. Folkman's job was to find out if reconstituted hemoglobin could keep tissue alive like real blood does. With his colleague Fred Becker, Judah Folkman built a crude imitation of a circulatory system and attached a living organ, a rabbit thyroid. When the pump was turned on, the hemoglobin began to circulate and sure enough, the thyroid gland thrived.
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