Synthetic Blood Saves Woman’s Life

There are too many True Blood jokes for me to pick just one. An experimental synthetic blood brings an Australian woman back from the brink of death and opens the door of possibility to scientists around the world.

  • Photo of survivor Tamara Coakley / Pic: Craig Borrow Source: The Daily Telegraph

  • After a brutal car accident, 33 year old Tamara Coakley was rushed to Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. Her injuries included two collapsed lungs, a fractured skull, broken ribs, a broken elbow and cheekbone, a ruptured spleen AND her spinal cord was nearly severed. Doctors were not optimistic, especially since she only had a litre of blood left in her body and her religion didn't allow them to give her a blood transfusion.

  • Photo via: Popsci

  • Enter HBOC201, a synthetic blood derived from cow plasma. Since religion has no stance on injecting blood made by science from cow bits, yet, ten units were flown from the United States to Australia in a hail mary pass attempt to save Coakley's life. Surpringly, it worked. So what does this mean, other then Australia has more lax medical standards than the FDA? It's the first step towards general population access to synthetic blood. Blood that doesn't have to be matched by type and can sit in cold storage for three years without degradation. An end to the blood donor shortage that plagues America and other countries. It also mean vampires are about two decades away from revealing themselves if pop culture is anything to go by.

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