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Pitt, Wake Forest team finds why stored transfusion blood may become less safe with age
Date:7/13/2011

d conditions accumulated "free" hemoglobin that was no longer contained in a cell and microparticles of damaged cells. Those breakdown products reacted with NO about 1,000 times more quickly than did intact red blood cells. Also, transfusion of even very low concentrations of hemoglobin caused blood vessel constriction and hypertension in a rat model.

"Avoiding the storage lesion, as it is referred to in our field, could require a new approach to how donor blood is stored prior to transfusion," said senior author Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Ph.D., professor of physics and director of the Translational Science Center at Wake Forest.

"Transfusion of stored blood is one of the most common medical therapies," he said. "By understanding the mechanism of the storage lesion, we can design methods to make blood transfusion safer. For example, perhaps we can restore nitric oxide activity that is lost upon transfusion, use preservation solutions that better limit the degradation of blood cells, or develop agents that scavenge free hemoglobin."

Other research projects are underway to find approaches to correct the problem, and to assess the safety of blood for transfusion that has been stored for longer than 14 days. Currently, federal guidelines allow transfusion of blood that has been stored for up to 42 days.


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Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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