Sunday, 1 September 2019

Research: Blood Transfusions

As Wikipedia says,
If your body does not have enough of one of the components of blood, you may develop serious life-threatening complications.
  • Red blood cells carry oxygen through your body to your heart and brain. Adequate oxygen is very important to maintain life.
  • Platelets help to prevent or control bleeding due to low platelet count.
  • Plasma and cryoprecipitate, replacement coagulation factors, also help to prevent or control bleeding.
Blood donors are asked many questions about their health, behaviour, and travel history in order to ensure that the blood supply is as safe as it can be. Only people who pass the survey are allowed to donate. Donated blood is tested according to national guidelines. If there is any question that the blood is not safe, it is thrown away.

In the past, doctors didn't understand about the types of blood and the diseases that could be carried, but today a blood transfusion is a normal practice, safe and even life saving.

The book A Brief History of the Future suggests that blood transfusions could be more than a benefit to the sick.
It had long been known that giving sick people blood transfusions from compatible young healthy people was very effective at helping them recover from a wide range of illnesses. In 2097 a commercial infusion was launched with many of the same hormones and growth factors present in healthy young blood. Tablets followed in 2100 but most health services refused to pay for them a they said they were not strong enough to be therapeutically effective, but patients took them in their millions; if they could afford them.
Even today, people are always being convinced to buy the latest miracle cure, often things that don’t contain enough of the ‘special’ ingredient to actually work. I had not considered using blood transfusions to make me younger.

I asked a doctor friend, and she said that you always feel better after a blood transfusion, so it would be easy to believe, but I researched on the internet, and it’s not coming any time soon. So far, they have not been able to replicate the oxygen-carrying properties of blood in particular.

Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at

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