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Artificial blood replacing donated blood, goverment involvement research and religious views


Artificial Blood

By Juan Edgar Ascencio

Prof. Steven Beech
English 102
Section # 35314
09 November 2016

As our population grows the need for services and goods also grows. Our dependency to the internet and the constant looking of our cell phones for that new friend request on Facebook, a new twitt on Twitter or a new email are constant reminders that we cannot any longer do without some conveniences. On the other side of the spectrum, as individuals someday may have the need for a blood transfusion. But blood may not be available to us because of a sort supply and our hospital suppliers are ignoring our call for desperate help. Again, as our population grows so does our need for human blood! I may sound like a vampire in desperate need for blood, but the reality is that Donations of human blood are decreasing and the need for our government to put more effort on creating a fully artificial human blood is increasing. So, that people who needs it could get it without any problem. But it has not happen yet!

The need for human blood is increasing day by day. Our supply cannot keep up with the demand. Sadly, people who are eligible to donate do not do it, mainly because of not knowing the facts about donating and the great need for their blood. In the Unites States alone, just about every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion (American Red Cross. Web). These blood transfusions are due to blood related diseases or traumatic injuries. Although human donations are increasing by 2 to 3 percent per year, so does the need for blood by 6 to 8 percent per year (Dr. Pierre La Folie. Brown.edu. blood substitutes). As a result, people in the United States should be more willing to donate blood to contribute to the increase need for blood around our country. But, they are just not doing it! And I do understand that people have busy life schedules or have other reasons (religious) for not doing it. But once you find out how the blood you just donated is use, you will be glad you did it!

So, about one pint of donated blood can help couple of people. As we all probably know, most of the donated blood goes to hospitals. These hospitals have blood already in storage for patients who need it. Donated blood goes to patients with traumatic injuries, who may take up to 100 pints of blood on a single visit to the emergency room. It will also go to sickle cell disease patients and cancer patients. Sickle cell disease patients, who are approximately 90,000 to 100,000 thousand of them will need blood transfusions just about every day as well as cancer patients who will need blood transfusions after chemotherapy treatments (American Red Cross. Web). As you see, donated blood not only saves lives but also extend the lives of those who are terminally ill, like cancer patients. Blood gives hope. Your blood is life. So how do I donate?

It is very imperative that you are willing to donate blood because you want to help people in need of blood. So, if you are ready to donate blood. The donation process is very simple and very safe. You can even get snacks and drinks while donating blood! The donation process consists of four steps. The first step is registration, which involve all your personal information. They want to make sure that your blood is traceable to you in case of something is wrong with your blood. The second step is your medical history. The donation center needs to know about your past medical history and sexual behavior to become a donor. For instance, if you use intravenous drugs, are a sex worker, or had tuberculosis, you may not be able to qualify to become a donor. The third step is a small physical examination to make sure you are in a good physical shape to become a donor. The last and easy step is donating your blood. According to the American Red Cross, a healthy adult has about 10 pints of blood on his or her body, which only one pint is taken out during donation. As you can see donating is a very easy and simple process. The whole process from beginning to end is about one hour and fifteen minutes. So, donations center want many people to donate not only because they want much blood but also because they want different types of blood. We will explore how blood gets put into groups.

Human blood comes in different types. Although, it may appear all the same on the outside, in the inside differs greatly. It is very important to be able to match comparable blood types donors with comparable blood types recipients. It is important because if the blood types are not comparable the recipients will suffer from serious complications, such as organ failure. Their immune system will reject this incomparable blood type. So, blood has red blood cells that have antigens. This antigens have markers the determined its blood type (American Red Cross. Web). The most common group of antigens are ABO. This letters represent four different blood groups; O the most commonly used by hospital because most of the population can be given this type of blood without complications of rejection, group of type B, group of type A, and group of type AB, which can ironically donate to all others but cannot receive from all other types (American Red Cross. Web). It is also important to mention that donors of type AB blood are universal donors for plasma only (American Red Cross. Web). Also, there is an important factor in blood types. It is ethnic diversity.

Ethnic diversity is very important when donating blood. This is important because some blood types are only found on certain racial and ethnic groups. For instance, African Americans have a blood type called U-negative (American Red Cross. Web). African Americans rely on people from their own race to obtain this type of blood. Hispanics have the rare blood type Di(b-) (American Red Cross. Web). Again, Hispanics can only find this type of blood among Hispanics. For this reasons, it is important to have donor diversity. Hospitals must be able to obtain any type of blood when its need it. Hospital must have all blood types in storage ready to be use on patients. But all this is possible because the rigorous process blood goes through before ending at the hospitals.

We will talk about storage of blood, Blood good and ready for donation. So, storage plays a very important role in the conservation of blood because red blood cells have a storage life of 42 days at temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius according to the American Red Cross Association (American Red Cross. Web). Plasma on the other hand can be maintained on a frozen state for up to a year. But blood platelets are store at room temperature for only a few days (American Red Cross. Web). This is why constant donations are much needed. Blood must be replaced continuously. Hospitals and other government agencies have access to blood 365 days of the year. But, how can we save so much hassle of bothering people about donating their blood to blood donation centers across this country.

Well, artificial blood is a great substitute for human blood. It can also become the solution to the increasing demand of natural human blood. Artificially speaking, this type of blood is called HBOCs or hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers. This substance has not been approved by the FDA because it is not safe on humans yet. The reason is a protein called hemoglobin. "Hemoglobin goes through a process called oxidation, which creates cellular damaged. Fortunately, red blood cells on human blood have an enzyme that prevents oxidation" (Abdu L. Alayassh. Working to Fulfill a Dream. FDA.Web). Unfortunately, scientists have not been able to duplicate this chemical process on hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (artificial blood). Thus, earlier trials of this artificial blood on patients show serious side effects, such as, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes (Abdu L. Alayassh. Working to Fulfill a Dream. FDA.Web). Therefore, it is obvious to mention that artificial blood is not currently used in any hospitals. The risks are still too high. But, the benefits of a blood substituted are way too good. We as a nation in crises for blood cannot continue to ignore the slow process in the research for this precious fluid. We must push forward! We must put pressure on our government to get more involved in the creation of this important fluid.

As of today, the U.S. government is not directly involved in the research and creation of an artificial blood substitute. The U.S. government for most part is granting financial funding to private bio-labs to conduct research on artificial blood. However, in 2006 there were some early trials of artificial blood on humans. This early blood experiments on humans were according to Brian Ross and Joseph Rhee from the ABC, without the patients consent and primary driven by the navy and a private bio-lab. This blood experiments on humans proved to be a bad idea due to the fact that people were suffering for deadly complications. These experiments were approved by the federal government, but only given to badly bleeding accident patients. Here, the government was taking advantage of people with severe injuries that were unaware of what was given to them.

In reality, the U.S. military is most eager to create a blood substitute. They argue that a blood substitute will save lives on the battle field, where it is very difficult to store large amounts of real blood (Timmis Oliver " Synthetic blood to be Trialed within two years" BioNews 631). Although blood trials are not a success yet, I truly believe that synthetic blood will be a reality in the near future. At least, we can see that the effort is there. That our government wants to preserve the lives of our military members, at all cost. It just makes sense to invest on something that will help our military. I am sure you have a relative or know someone in the military right now. You don't want anything bad happened to them. You want then to get treated and save if they get injured. You want them to have the necessary medical supplies available to them. You don't want to find out that they could have been saved, but

Even a tax on candy, sounds like a good idea to help our government fund the necessary research needed to create artificial blood. As of today the U.S. government funding of new bio- meds is decreasing compare to other developing countries like China. Even though, china spends less money on biomedical research compare to the U.S. China is increasing its funding by 17 percent per year since 2004 (Harris Richard "U.S. Funding of Health Research Stalls As Other Nations Rev Up" NPR.ORG). To me, this statistic is scary because, if other nations like China find or develop a cure for a disease. China will definitely capitalize on its biomedical findings. We will pay more for these cures. But on the case of artificial blood, I believe that it is like a top secret weapon. China or other nations will not tell us if they created a fully replaceable artificial blood. It is not on their best interest. Unless, they sale it to the rest to the world for a hefty profit. But, also here in the United States, companies will profit from the creation of an artificial blood. Although, artificial blood will be at the beginning, its price will decrease as more and more hospitals start to use it. Today studies have found that it would be more cost effective to continue to use transfused blood because it cost is less than of artificial blood. Transfused blood cost about 200 dollars per unit, compare to 500 to 1000 dollars a synthetic blood may end up costing initially (J. Feder. New York Times). These were estimations made by a company call Biopure. This company is working on a blood substitute using a highly pure cow blood. Biopure says that as substitute blood becomes more refine and productions cost decrease along with the cost involving storage and testing of transfused blood. The cost of substitute blood will decrease. Also, they argue that it will take only one unit of substitute blood compare to 2 to 3 units of blood to treat a patient as a result, the cost of one unit of substituted blood will make more sense using. Keep in mind that revenue from this substitute blood will total $10 billion in total sales on a 10 year span (J. Feder. New York Times).

Unfortunately, Biopure research and development of its blood substitute did not survive. Its developing of a blood substitute using cow blood was not approved by the FDA. There were fears that this blood could contain a molecule that carries mad cow disease, as a result, it was not safe for commercial use. We all know that it is important to make sure that any blood substitute must be 100 percent save before it is use on humans. We also know that views regarding the use of synthetic blood differ among social groups. In other words, people have different opinions about using a fluid that is made in a laboratory as blood. In many cases, people tend to be skeptical, fictional, negative and positive about the use of synthetic blood on humans. But I still believe that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Although, artificial blood may bring positive outcomes to our society, it will also bring some opposing views. For instance, some religions are against the use of artificial blood on humans. They believe that prayer will heal all physical and mental illness. Although, I tend to disagree with these believes. The church of Christian Science and Jehovah's Witness are the two religious that are against the use of artificial blood in their followers. The Church of Christian Science believes that physical and mental illness can be cure with prayer. This church even have nursing homes where sick people will go in and pray into they get well. Christian Scientist are not against the use of glasses but everything else medically speaking, they are (Religious Tolerance.org). According to the web place Religious Tolerance, this Christian Scientist never will go to the doctor and if they have a broken bone. They will have a regular doctor put it back in place and then go to one of their healing nursing homes to pray for complete recovery. This religious group often publishes articles of their members healing ordeals. These ordeals according to then a success, but they never publish cases were prayer did not work (Religious Tolerance.org). So, blood transfusions or the use of artificial blood is not allowed for the members of this religious sect.

The Church of the Jehovah's Witness is another religious sect that prohibits blood transfusions or the use of synthetic blood. However, Jehovah's Witness do allowed their members to get medical treatments. I found that because Jehovah's Witness believe on passages in the Bible, stating that the use of whole blood is sacred. But today, many Jehovah's Witness are accepting the possibility of using synthetic blood because it is not whole, but an alternative to blood that is not mention in the Bible at all (Religious Tolerance.org). This was reinforced by L. C. Cotton, who is the associate director of the Jehovah's Witness hospital relations that said: "When blood is fractionated beyond those primary components and other blood derivatives. We feel that it is and individuals decision. If an individual's conscience will allow him to accept the product, then that will be up to the individual. That is between himself and his God. .. The understanding is that each person stands before God and is judged according to his own conscience. The other Witnesses would not criticize any decisions he makes". It is encouraging to see some religions starting to change their minds about Synthetic blood during blood transfusions and traumatic medical treatment. Sadly, this change may have come a bit too late for many children who die because of their parent's refusal of blood transfusions or medical treatment. But for the most part people agree that synthetic blood is good.

After all, we should be open mind it to the idea of new innovations in the biomedical field. Artificial blood is an innovation that will bring many benefits to humanity. It will reduce or eliminate the need for donated blood. It will make blood transfusions safer because artificial blood doesn't carry diseases transferable during transfusions. It will solve the problem of time storage. In the military arena, it will help to treat soldiers with traumatic injuries more effective. It will solve the need for storage in the battle field because normal blood can only be store for so long. But I think the most important benefit will be that artificial blood will be universal. Everybody will be able to use it and the need for testing will be gone. But, this may not happen until the U.S. Government, the scientific community, and we get together to make possible all these benefits artificial blood will bring to humanity with financial help and knowledge. We must do our part by donating blood!

Words Cited

Feder J Barnaby"A New Urgency in the Race for Blood Substitudes" New York Times.4 March, 2001.
B.A. Robinson. "Faith Healing". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 01 August 2001.
Barnett Corey. "Religious Groups are Against Upcoming Human Trials of Synthetic Blood". World Religion News. 4 September 2016. Web.
"Blood Facts and Statistics" American Red Cross" Web.
Hollan Z. "Blood Substitutes current evidence". PubMed. 7 December 2003.
LaFolie Pierre Dr. "Blood Substitutes". Biomed.brown.edu. no date.
"Office of Naval Research Provides $3.5 Million in New Grants for Clinical Research Involving Synthetic Blood International's Oxycyte(R) " Science Letter, 18 Mar. 2008, p. 7919. Academic Onefile.

" Two Christian Groups that Oppose Medical Care" Religious Tolerance.org. Web. Access on 10 November, 2016.

Nov 13, 2016   #2
Juan, for starters, if you are writing a paper regarding a medical topic, make sure that all of the examples that you use in your paper are related to the same. You can't use technology as an example of conveniences we take for granted and then suddenly throw in the discussion about the need for blood. Those two technologies are not related. In fact, one is a technology and the other, is a medical science. It is about biology, so an example relating to biology would be better suited in this instance. Needless to say, I am advising you to replace your references to technology in the opening statement of your essay. It may tend to confuse the reader because those are two different topics that can never see eye to eye on any discussion level. So relate the information for a better foundation for your research.

In a formal, academic research paper, you may use a comma, a period, a semi colon, a colon, or even quotation marks or question marks. You absolutely, under no circumstance, cannot use an exclamation point. Who are you shouting at? Why are you shouting at your professor? That is a clear sign of disrespect and should be removed from the print.

Finally, you need to clarify the thesis statement of your essay. What is your research about? What will you be discussing in the research paper? What solution or decision do you hope to present in the conclusion? These are the kinds of summarized information that will help you create a strong thesis statement and I hope that you can include them in your revised work.


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