Not Blood Simple

Science  08 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5557, pp. 1003
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5557.1003

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Compounds that act like blood to deliver oxygen are in the final stretch of clinical trials after decades of setbacks due to the complexity of hemoglobin and its sometimes surprising effects on humans when it's not ensconced in red blood cells. A handful of companies have persevered, however, predicting an ever greater need for blood substitutes as growing numbers of elderly patients needing blood-intensive surgery such as hip repairs or replacements strain the existing donor supply.