"As a drag reducing polymer, it may provide better diffusion of oxygen molecules from red blood cells to tissues because of its ability to better mix in the plasma surrounding red blood cells," explained Marina Kameneva, Ph.D., research associate professor of surgery and bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, and director of the Artificial Blood Program at the McGowan Institute, who developed the fluid and has been researching its potential for the past several years.
In the current study, lead by Carlos A. Macias, M.D., a visiting research associate in the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine, five of 10 rats that were injected with a small amount of a normal saline solution survived four hours after hemorrhagic shock. Of the animals treated with a same amount of saline and the aloe-derived DRP, eight of 10 survived. The animals treated with DRP also fared better in another experiment involving more severe blood loss; five of 15 survived the two-hour observation period, compared to one of 14 treated with saline solution alone. Seven animals receiving no treatment all died within 35 minutes.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, trauma is the leading cause of death for those under the age of 40. In the United States, traumatic injuries result in approximately 150,000 deaths per year; complications resulting from the loss of large amounts of blood account for almost half these deaths.
In addition to Drs. Fink, Kameneva and Macias, authors of the study are Jyrki J. Tenhunen, M.D., Ph.D., visiting research associate in the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine; and Juan-Carlos Puyana, M.D., associate professor of critical care medicine and surgery at Pitt and