Doctors in Australia helped save the life of a 33-year old woman, who was on the brink of death due to blood loss, with a revolutionary synthetic blood that is made out of a molecule present in cow's blood.
Tamara Coakley had lost a lot of blood following a car crash and was in serious danger of suffering from a fatal heart failure. The doctors at The Alfred hospital then rushed in the synthetic blood, known as HBOC-201, from the US and restored the level of haemoglobin in her blood.
The haemoglobin-based oxygen carrier is derived from a molecule present in cow's blood and unlike human blood, there is no need for it to match the recipient's blood group. This is the first time that the blood has been used to prevent cardiac hypoxia and anaemia in a patient.
Stating that HBOC-201 and other such blood substitutes could play a vital role in the future, trauma service director, Dr Mark Fitzgerald said, "Currently only one in 30 people give blood, but one in three will need it. What we would eventually like to see is synthetic blood products to be available in remote areas of Australia and in the Defence Forces when people don't have any other option."