Alternative to Blood May Make It's Way to Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/13/04

Alternative to Blood May Make It's Way to Lubbock

You've heard us say how important it is to give blood, that in an emergency, your donation could be someone else's lifeline. So, while our blood supply in Lubbock depends on the good people out here who are willing to roll up their sleeves and donate, a lot of folks in Houston are benefiting from a different kind of blood donation.

Herman Hospital there is part of a study to test something called Polyheme. It's made from human blood. It's compatible with all types and unlike banked blood it has a year-long shelf life.

"That's a major problem with banked blood, continually have to restock supply, and there's a limited supply," said Dr. Frederick Moore, Polyheme study investigator.

Starting this week, Life Flight in Houston will use Polyheme on some severe trauma victims there. In earlier studies, more than 300 people have been treated with Polyheme, and so far, it appears to significantly increase survival rates. Again, it's still in the testing stages, but already, the FDA has deemed Polyheme is safe enough to use in emergency situations without patient permission.

Here in Lubbock, Les Long at United Blood Services says he is looking into Polyheme to see if it is something that could be tested here as well. We'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, remember UBS is open on Saturday to take blood donations from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Les Long says if the roads are bad, we don't want more accidents with people driving to UBS, but he says for those of you who are out anyway, it would be appreciated if you could stop by UBS on 48th St. near University to make a donation.

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