Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Blood Transfusion

Font Size

Artificial Blood

Experts are trying to create artificial blood or blood replacements. Blood replacements being studied include oxygen-carrying chemicals (such as perfluorocarbon emulsions) and cell-free hemoglobin—the portion of the red blood cell that carries oxygen. There are several advantages to blood replacements.

  • Blood replacement products can be stored for long periods of time. Human blood must be used within a few weeks of being donated.
  • Blood replacement products can be stored at room temperature. Human blood must be kept refrigerated until used.
  • There is no risk of a transfusion reaction caused by mismatched blood type.
  • Blood replacement products can be sterilized, eliminating the risk for infection.

The blood replacement products being tested still have problems. For example, blood replacement products can interfere with blood tests, are more quickly removed from the body, and are less efficient oxygen carriers.

Recommended Related to

What Is Aplastic Anemia?

When you have the rare but treatable disorder known as aplastic anemia, your marrow -- the spongy substance inside your bones -- stops making new blood cells. Sometimes it stops making just one type, but more often you become low on all three: red and white cells, and platelets.  It can develop slowly or come on suddenly. If your blood count gets low enough, it can be life-threatening.

Read the What Is Aplastic Anemia? article > >

Several of these products are being developed. But their use, after they are approved, will probably be limited to emergencies involving severe blood loss caused by serious accidents.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 13, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
Healthy breakfast
What are you eating?
Young man exercising on bike
How not to get sick at the gym.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
Woman scrutinizing nose in mirror
Tips that work.
close up of leg with psoriasis rash
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.