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Revolutionary 'blood' HBOC-201 saves Tamara Coakley


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A last-ditch effort to save Mrs Coakley's life led to 10 units of the haemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, called HBOC-201 to be flown in from the US. Picture: Craig Borrow Source: Herald Sun

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The Alfred Hospital trauma service director Dr Mark Fitzgerald said it marked an important step in developing a viable blood alternative to address world blood supply shortages. Picture: Craig Borrow Source: Herald Sun

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Tamara Coakley suffered severe blood loss and came dangerously close to heart failure after a horrific car crash. Picture: Craig Borrow Source: Herald Sun

A REVOLUTIONARY synthetic blood - straight out of science fiction - has saved the life of a Victorian woman.

Doctors at The Alfred brought Tamara Coakley, 33, back from the brink of death after a horrific car crash left her with severe blood loss and dangerously close to heart failure.

This was the first reported case of the synthetic blood reversing cardiac hypoxia and anaemia in a trauma patient.

A last-ditch effort to save Mrs Coakley's life led to 10 units of the haemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, called HBOC-201 to be flown in from the US.

It contains a molecule derived from cow's blood and restored the level of haemoglobin in her blood, which carries oxygen to the tissues.

Trauma service director Dr Mark Fitzgerald said it marked an important step in developing a viable blood alternative to address world blood supply shortages.

Unlike donor blood it does not require matching and can be stored without refrigeration for up to three years- making it suitable for use in a rural settings or on the battlefield.

"It's a bit of science fiction," Dr 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."

As a Jehovah's Witness, Mrs Coakley was unable to have whole blood transfusions, but was permitted to accept blood substitutes

.

Dr Fitzgerald was familiar with the product, which is being developed by the US Navy, because he gave independent advice on a proposed research project five years ago.

Working through the night he negotiated with the drug's manufacturer, OPK Biotech, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and airline carriers.

The Alfred's ethics committee approved the import, permission was granted under the TGA's special access scheme and the manufacturer picked up the tab.

Within 48 hours, the blood product had arrived in Melbourne and five units (2350ml) were painstakingly administered over two days.Despite a few close calls, including high temperatures and pneumonia, Mrs Coakley's haemoglobin levels more than doubled.

HBOC-201 is one of several blood substitutes being developed around the world.

University of Melbourne Paediatrics Department head Prof Paul Monagle said synthetic blood could relieve donor supply issues and give people in remote areas access to life-saving treatment.

"The other issue is storage," he said.

"If you could make a synthetic blood with a long shelf life and it was portable you could carry it with you."

But any synthetic blood product would have to be rigorously tested before it moved from working prototype to routine practice. Mrs Coakley, who was in an induced coma during the medical procedure, knows how close she came to death in the October crash.

She was overwhelmed by the lengths to which Dr Fitzgerald went to save her life and respect her personal choices."In a hospital setting you wouldn't get a person in this situation where they are forced to try something new," Mrs Coakley said.

"I'm glad something positive could come out of it. They did everything they could. I am so grateful for that."

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I think this topic has thesame content of this other topic "cow's blood saves life of crash victim in world first procedure???" posted May 05, 2011

You're right, I missed that. But mine has pictures! :tongue:

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I think this topic has thesame content of this other topic "cow's blood saves life of crash victim in world first procedure???" posted May 05, 2011

You're right, I missed that. But mine has pictures! :tongue:

yes, your's has pictures, that makes the difference!
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It contains a molecule derived from cow's blood and restored the level of haemoglobin in her blood, which carries oxygen to the tissues.

As this substance contains "molecules derived from cow's blood", this would seem to be a case which would bring into play the potential recipient's conscience as to whether they are willing to accept blood fractions.

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It contains a molecule derived from cow's blood and restored the level of haemoglobin in her blood, which carries oxygen to the tissues.

As this substance contains "molecules derived from cow's blood", this would seem to be a case which would bring into play the potential recipient's conscience as to whether they are willing to accept blood fractions.

you are right, it is a matter of conscience on the part of the receipient which we are told not to judge.
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It contains a molecule derived from cow's blood and restored the level of haemoglobin in her blood, which carries oxygen to the tissues.

As this substance contains "molecules derived from cow's blood", this would seem to be a case which would bring into play the potential recipient's conscience as to whether they are willing to accept blood fractions.

you are right, it is a matter of conscience on the part of the receipient which we are told not to judge.

Absolutely! No judgement intended or implied. :)

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I am so glad that this fine sister is recovering, she looks really nice , and has a beautiful horse too!

Out of interest the Society's website says this about it :

"Unlike red blood cells, which must be refrigerated and discarded after a few weeks, the HBOC can be stored at room temperature and used months later. And since the cell membrane with its unique antigens is gone, severe reactions due to mismatched blood types pose no threat. However, compared with other blood fractions, the HBOC presents more challenges to conscientious Christians, who seek to obey God’s law on blood. Why? As long as the HBOC is derived from blood, there are two objections that may be raised. One, the HBOC carries out the key function of a primary component of blood, the red cells. Two, hemoglobin, from which the HBOC is derived, makes up a significant portion of that component. Regarding this and similar products, then, Christians face a very serious decision. They must carefully and prayerfully meditate on Bible principles concerning the sacredness of blood. With a keen desire to maintain a good relationship with Jehovah, each must be guided by his Bible-trained conscience.—Galatians 6:5."

http://www.watchtower.org/e/200608/article_03.htm

So they are not so happy with it as they are the smaller fractions, but it is down to you if you decide to accept.

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