One person, one blood donation, is not what is going to make the difference. A fix must be made—that is what Artificial Blood is hinting into—without it, lives will be lost. With the rise in population the need for blood donations has greatly increased, but the number of blood donations have decreased. With this shortage in blood supply, the minimum supply of blood a country needs is 1% of its total population. On average 1 pint of blood is taken during blood donation from 1 person. A single car accident victim can occupy up to 100 pints of blood. That is 100 donations that is needed. All gone in one use, there is not enough donations to keep up. More and more blood is needed and the blood bank cannot keep up with the all of the requests (Veni et al. 38).
Artificial Blood has been under works to attempt to expel some of the dangers that normal blood transfusion brings with it. Since during blood transfusion, blood is transferred from one person to another there is a possibility that infectious and chronic blood born diseases can be transmitted such as: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS and others. Also, mistransfusion—giving the patient the incorrect blood type—can easily occur due to a simple error (Veni et al. 39). Also, with blood transfusion there is cases where a patient refuses transfusion due to cultural beliefs. Such as, the patient may not want another person’s blood to be transfused into them due to beliefs. Hopefully, Artificial Blood will be able to eliminate the risk of transmitting diseases, mistransfusion, and ease certain religious beliefs (Crookston 4). Which can lead to higher success rates with blood transfusion.
Artificial Blood is the closest substitute, at this point in time, for the blood that circulates throughout the human body right now. Using Artificial Blood scientists have been able to replicate the task of Red Blood Cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body (Fridey 1). Right now, the two main forms of Artificial Blood include Perfluorocarbons (PFC) and Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers. The two maintain their own benefits and impediments. They also possess very different forms of creation and chemical makeup, even though they are both capable of carrying oxygen throughout the body. Both the types of Artificial Bloods are currently only available through clinical trials as they still have issues that must be removed before considered completely safe for use inside the human body (Chang 145).
Perfluorocarbons hold a long list of advantages, beginning with the fact that they are good solvents for carbon dioxide and oxygen which allows them to continue to maintain the respiration process. This leads to PFCs being able to carry and release large quantities of oxygen to tissues—like red blood cells are supposed to do. Also, there is an increase in oxygen concentration that the patient inhales due to the solubility coefficient of the PFCs. Then, due to the PFCs limited interaction with oxygen it allows an easy transportation of oxygen throughout the body. PFCs can also lead to minimized PH levels in the bloodstream—when the PH levels in your blood stream are elevated it will steal calcium from the body’s bones to balance out the PH levels—which makes PFCs a good blood alternative (Veni et al. 39). Finally, PFCs have benefits such as, they can be stored for over a year, at room temperature, and there is no need for the initial checking for blood types and blood born diseases—unlike with transfusions. PFCs can also infiltrate into small capillaries due to their size—PFCs are only 0.2 microns, where red blood cells are 7 microns—which allows the PFCs to deliver oxygen to the most needed places by bypassing arterial blockages. (Veni et al. 39). Perfluorocarbons have benefits, but they also have restrictions and drawbacks.
Perfluorocarbons down sides is that they must be prepared as emulsions—a liquid state—because they cannot stay in an aqueous state for very long. Also to guarantee that tissues fully oxygenate the patients must breathe at a linear rate—a very even and consistent rate—because PFCs are passive oxygen absorbers. PFCs can also cause a reduced platelet count in the blood, which can cause flu-like symptoms. Also an increased intake and/or continuous intake of PFCs may cause allergic reactions (Veni et al. 39). Further clinical trials with adjustments to PFCs are currently ongoing in an attempt to lessen the side effects (Fridey 4), in hope to eventually exit the boundaries of clinical trials.
The other type of artificial blood is more of a blood substitute as it is derived from either outdated bovine or human red blood cells. It is known as Hemoglobin Based Oxygen Carriers (HBOC), Hemoglobin which is the oxygen carrying protein molecule found in red blood cells is extracted from the obsolete red blood cells through ultrafiltration, and purification. The Hemoglobin must undergo specific processes in an attempt to prevent the Hemoglobin from disassociating from its natural four-chain configuration (Fridey 3). There is numerous methods of chemically altering the Hemoglobin to increase the molecules size so it does not dissociate and break down. The two main processes of enlarging the molecule are polymerization and