Blood 'booster' tested1st October 2012
The Royal London Hospital is conducting clinical trials of a drug which could be used to help patients get better after they have experienced heavy blood loss.
The drug, a haemoglobin-based medication called MP4OX, is being used to treat people with blood loss at 56 centres worldwide.
MP4OX, developed by US company Sangart, is created from expired blood transfusion stocks and works to imitate how red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body.
Sangart say that MP4OX does not pose an infection danger to patients and can be given to people who have experienced severe trauma.
Professor Karim Brohi, of the Barts and The Royal London Hospital, is heading the trials.
He told BBC News: "We're giving it to people who been severely injured in car crashes, have fallen out of a window, been stabbed etc. Basically it's a drug which takes up oxygen and delivers it to cells which are starved of oxygen because there's not enough blood going around the body."
MP4OX has already undergone testing in a small trial of 50 patients, which concluded it was "safe".
Professor Brohi explained: "In the initial trial, it seemed to show that people got out of hospital much quicker than patients who hadn't had the drug."
"It was a small trial with lots of room for error, but there was a pretty strong signal that there were a lot more patients who were alive and out of hospital at 28 days compared to the ones who hadn't had the drug.
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