Medicine: New Methods for Saving Blood

Researchers are trying to reclaim, recycle and replenish it

Ever since it became clear that AIDS and other infections could be transmitted through blood transfusions, the public has regarded receiving blood as risky. Even though blood is now screened more thoroughly than ever, scientists too are concerned about the vulnerability of the nation's blood supply, and this has led to a search for ways to circumvent the donor system. One approach is synthetic hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells; another is a drug to increase the production of red cells. A third is increasingly being used in elective surgery: autologous transfusion, in which patients are given blood that...

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