Can blood expire?

7 Mar 2013, 15:37
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Blood stored for more than three weeks loses some of its qualities, and this process is most likely irreversible, claim scientists from the Johns Hopkins University.


A research that involved 16 people discovered that blood cells become rigid and not able to pass through minute capillaries, reports The Star.


Substantial changes in cell membrane structure lead to disruption of normal blood flow, says member of the research team Dr. Stephen Frank.


For example, the Canadian Blood Service stores blood for no more that six weeks. During this time, blood looses most valuable compounds required for oxygen delivery. However, it is believed to recover after the transfusion.


Since this study is not reliable due to some drawbacks, more extensive reseach is needed, says the Canadian Blood Service vice-president Dr. Dana Devine.


Currently, Canada and the U.S. initiated two research programs to determine how stored blood changes at the molucular level over time. Scientists also want to understand how these changes affect the transfusion success.


More than 2,500 patients are currently under research. The results are expected not earlier than in one year.


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