University of Illinois Researchers Develop New Way to Assess Freshness and Effectiveness of Whole Blood; Pathologists and Blood Bankers May Be Surprised at the Findings

Some changes in red blood cells that occur within current 42-day use guidelines may not be apparent to the human eye, but offer a new way to measure the amount of oxygen that the cells can carry

At the University of Illinois (UI), researchers have developed a new method to assess the freshness and clinical effectiveness of whole blood. As these findings are validated, pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists who manage hospital blood banks may need to establish new guidelines for the use of such blood products.

Researchers at the UI campus in Urbana-Champaign stated that their findings indicate that blood stored in the laboratory or at the community blood bank may not be as fresh as it appears. They also said that the longer blood is stored, the less effective it can be in carrying oxygen into the body’s tiny microcapillaries, according to a news release issued by the UI. (more…)