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New Technology May Transform Blood Processing

Device reduces need for transfusions during major surgeries (Aug. 21)

A new surgical blood salvage technology developed at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, may transform the way major surgery is carried out by reducing blood loss in patients, according to an August 21 announcement.

The HemoSep device is designed to recover blood spilled during open-heart and major trauma surgery and to concentrate the blood cells for transfusion back to the patient. This process, known as autotransfusion, reduces the volume of donor blood required and the problems associated with transfusion reaction.

In clinical trials involving more than 100 open-heart surgery operations, the use of the HemoSep device significantly reduced the need for blood transfusions, along with preserving normal clotting mechanisms and reducing the inflammatory reaction often encountered after such surgical procedures.

The device consists of a blood bag that employs a chemical sponge technology and a mechanical agitator to concentrate blood sucked from the surgical site or drained from the heart-lung machine after the surgery. The separated cells are then returned to the patient by intravenous transfusion.

The results of the clinical trials will be presented at the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) Congress in Rostock, Germany, in September.

For more information, visit the University of Strathclyde Web site.

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