Japanese researchers said they have developed artificial blood that can be transfused into patients regardless of their blood type and can vastly improve the chances for survival of seriously injured people.
For possible applications on humans, the artificial blood gets around problems with identifying blood types in emergency situations and overcomes limits on storing real blood from donors.
A severe loss of blood platelets that stop bleeding and red blood cells that carry oxygen to body cells will lead to death.
The team's artificial blood consists of platelets and red blood cells.
When the artificial blood was tested on 10 rabbits suffering from serious blood loss, six of them survived, a ratio comparable to that among rabbits treated with real blood, according to the team.
The blood types of patients must be confirmed before they can receive transfusions, so emergency medical technicians and other health care workers are prohibited from transfusing blood in ambulances.
Since blood type is not an issue with the artificial blood, injured patients can be treated before they arrive at hospitals, resulting in a higher survival rate, the team said.