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Thread: Synthetic Blood Saves Australian Woman’s Life

  1. #1
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    Waterbury, CT

    Synthetic Blood Saves Australian Woman’s Life

    This isn't news, but just showed up during a search.

    Synthetic Blood Saves Australian Woman’s Life | The Utopianist - Think Bigger

    Synthetic Blood Saves Australian Woman’s Life
    Written by: Anna Loza

    06 May 2011
    Synthetic Blood

    A viable synthetic blood transfusion may finally be a reality; just ask Tamara Coakley, 33, who brushed with death after a severe car accident.

    As a Jehovah’s witness, the Australian woman was unable to receive transfusions of human blood, despite a long list of serious injuries: an almost-severed spinal cord, collapsed lungs, a fractured skull, broken ribs, cheekbone and elbow and a ruptured spleen. Her dangerous condition was only augmented by severe blood loss — doctors did not have many options, but a tireless Dr. Fitzgerald did some pretty heavy lifting to make things happen.

    Ten units of the blood were flown in from the U.S. and injected into Coakley after the doctor negotiated with everybody from the manufacturer to border inspection agencies, an ethics committee and the airline carrier. He says that the idea of a synthetic blood transfusion working is “a bit of science fiction” making the whole procedure a medical miracle. The drug maker picked up the tab, another miracle in its own right.

    The injection raised Coakley’s levels of hemoglobin, preventing imminent heart failure and anemia; it also supplemented the single liter of blood she had left after the accident. She woke up from a come one week after receiving the transfusion.

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  3. #2
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    Feb 2012
    This is now an old story on July 1, 2012. What I would like to know is.

    How did the doctor get hold of a product that had been pulled 2 years ago from testing by FDA and similar agencies in other countries?
    Companies shut down their production of HBOC’s such as Polyheme & Hemepure!
    It was only ever legal in South Africa – no longer available.
    Too many complications and death from “free hemoglobin” migrating out of blood vessels -damaging and killing organs ( and patients )

  4. #3
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    Apr 2009
    if you read the article, it says that the blood came from the US Navy.

  5. #4
    Administrator jlvarisco's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Bree - thanks for posting the article. It was about a year ago, but they show a picture of the patient that is current and almost fully recovered. Sometimes these types of products are still available for what is termed "compassionate" use. Dr. Bruce Speiss gave a very interesting educational webinar on blood substitutes that I listened in on about 7 months ago. Most of the hemoglobin based solutions that are termed "artificial blood" are in the hands of scientists who are trying to address the concern about "free floating hemoglobin" and the damage it can cause by developing an appropriate polymer coating for the hemoglobin molecules. PolyHeme (human derived hemoglobin) and Hemopure (bovine-derived hemoglobin) have a shelf life of 3 years, so there might be some available for compassionate use. Obviously, for this particular patient the benefit out-weighed the risk!

  6. #5
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    Feb 2012
    It was a doctor in US Pacific northwest that about a year ago bemoaned the fact that she could no longer get HBOC's for about 1 1/2 years. It always was "upon compassionate grounds" in the US and Canada-if you were not part of the studies. She used it 4 times with 1 fatality -if my memory is correct. It was part of a lecture she gave on treating patients with objections to transfusions.

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