Artificial Blood and It's Importance

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Artificial Blood and Its Importance

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1. Artificial blood is a basic filler for the human cardiovascular system used in some medical procedures or to treat certain conditions. It is also known as blood surrogate or blood substitute, and although it does not act as a full substitute for blood, it does help to take up space and carry some important gases. There are two main categories of artificial blood: oxygen therapeutics, for artificial blood that carries oxygen, and volume expanders for inert blood.

2. Research into the production of artificial blood is important as, when severe trauma occurs, a serious danger is that blood volume will be reduced to a point where the remaining red blood cells can no longer oxygenate body tissue, which can result in tissue damage or death. Artificial blood solves this by acting as a volume expander, making up for the lost quantity of blood. Because real blood has a substantial capacity for carrying oxygen, so long as volume is retained, even a dilute ratio of real blood to artificial blood can be adequate to keep a person alive. Even at half the normal level of real blood, with artificial blood a person’s oxygen levels can be at around three-quarters of the norm. At the outside limit, a person using volume expanders can get down to as little as one-seventh of their normal red blood count and still remain stable.

3. The first suggestion for artificial blood was made shortly after William Harvey first described circulation of blood, in 1616. At this time they though that artificial blood could be made from wine or milk. 1966 experiments with mice uncovered a new type of artificial blood, perflurocarbons. These are long chained polymers similar to Teflon; composed of readily and reliable materials, this ensures adequate supply for a large scale use of the artificial blood. A number of driving forces have led to the development of artificial blood substitutes. 1960s, one...
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