Study Says Danger of Blood Substitutes is Under Reported


April 28, 2008

April 28, 2008 – A study of clinical trials involving artificial blood substitutes has shown they can cause an increased in risk of death and heart attacks, according to an article this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The authors of the article analyzed data from several hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier (HBOC) trials and found a 30 percent increase in the risk of death and nearly a three-fold increase in risk of myocardial infarction when all HBOC trials were pooled. The adverse outcomes assessed were only significant in one of the trials, but the JAMA authors contend individual trials were generally not powered to detect important differences in harm and a meta-analysis of all the studies was not conducted to better understand benefits and harms for blood substitutes.

Animal evidence and early clinical trials demonstrated that HBOCs were associated with risks such as renal dysfunction and systemic vasoconstriction, the article states. However, many times these issues were underreported, the study suggested.

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