Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Even as pharma companies are busy, conducting clinical trials on artificial human blood, a team of Indian pharmaceutical scientists warns that artificial blood may cause hypertension and cardiac arrest leading to death

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  Even as pharma companies are busy, conducting
clinical trials on artificial human blood, a team of city
pharmaceutical scientists warns that artificial blood may cause
hypertension and cardiac arrest leading to death.

Artificial blood is synthesized in laboratories and works similar to
the natural haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body. Clinical
trials are underway in different countries including India. Those
supporting artificial blood argue that it is free of disease-causing
germs and can be given to people irrespective of their blood group.
Artificial blood can be stored for about 40 days without refrigeration.

In a presentation at the ongoing international symposium on chemistry
and chemical biology of natural products, at the Indian Institute of
Chemical Technology (IICT) here on Friday, researchers from
Priyadarshini College of Pharmaceutical Sciences warned that usage of
artificial blood increases the chances of heart attack and blood
pressure.

The physical characteristics of blood substitutes (artificial blood)
can thin the blood, reduce shear stress in capillaries, which leads to
vasoconstriction (narrowing of vessels), says Martha Bharat Kumar, who
is part of the team of researchers. There are two types of oxygen
carriers, which differ in the way they transport oxygen. One is based
on perfluorochemicals, the other on haemoglobin.

“Creating artificial blood with a low affinity for oxygen is also a
mistake. Current blood substitutes release their oxygen in the
arteries instead of in the capillaries like normal blood. This early
release can itself trigger vasoconstriction,” he points out.

Blood substitutes are legally permitted in the USA in emergency cases.
Studies, however, reveal that blood substitutes contribute 30 per cent
increase in the risk of death. It also increases the chances of heart
attack by three times.

Artificial blood is recommended in cases where there is shortage of
red blood cells or RBC.

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