In a finding that may potentially improve survival from war injuries and disasters, laboratory researchers report that refrigerated whole blood may have a shelf life well beyond the current standard of 24 to 48 hours.
"We have found that whole blood retains its clotting properties at least 11 days under standard refrigeration," said the study leader, David Jobes, M.D., a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist in the Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "If this lab discovery can be confirmed in human subjects, it may lead to a change in clinical practice, and possibly to improved survival for massively transfused patients."
The study appears in the January 2011 issue of the journal Transfusion.
The majority of patients receiving blood transfusions only require specific components of whole blood, such as red blood cells, plasma and platelets. However, whole blood may be preferable in specific situations such as infant heart surgery and combat casualties.
The definition of freshness of whole blood with respect to its clotting properties has not been systematically studied. The current practice at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia assumes a fresh whole blood shelf life of 48 hours when refrigerated. After that point, the red blood cells may be recovered from the whole blood, but the other components, such as plasma and platelets must be discarded. "In any case, postponed surgeries currently waste resources," said Jobes.
Based on reports from military clinicians and on the authors' own observations in pediatric cardiac surgery, Jobes and colleagues did a laboratory study to measure the duration of blood coagulation properties in refrigerated whole blood.
The researchers used 21 units of whole blood from healthy volunteer donors, performing the study in the hematology and coagulation laboratory led by Long Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., in the clinical laboratory at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. They found that thromboelastography (TEG) and platelet aggregation levels, which measure the efficiency of blood coagulation, remain normal at least 11 days under standard refrigerated conditions.
If these results hold up under follow-up studies in human subjects, a change in current practice could increase the availability and usefulness of whole blood, especially in military or disaster relief situations, and in remote locations. "Trauma patients could potentially benefit, as well as others needing a large volume of blood replacement, such as patients undergoing liver transplant or children who need craniofacial reconstruction," said Jobes.
Furthermore, Jobes added, more efficient use of donated whole blood, besides reducing wastage, could lower the number of donors needed, and thus increase safety by reducing the risks of inadvertently transmitting blood borne viruses.
In all, said Jobes, "Our results strongly suggest that clinical trials should proceed to test the value of whole blood beyond a 48-hour period."
Grants from the Cardiac Center and the Departmental Fund of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, both at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, supported this study.
Jobes's co-authors were Yanika Wolfe, Daniel O'Neill, Jennifer Calder, Lisa Jones, Deborah Sesok-Pizzini and X. Long Zheng, all from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
"Toward a Definition of 'Fresh' Whole Blood: An In Vitro Characterization of Coagulation Properties in Refrigerated Whole Blood for Transfusion," Transfusion, January 2011.
About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 460-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.
Joey McCool Ryan | EurekAlert!
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences