La quête de substituts du sang

WASHINGTON, DC – Dans la plupart des pays développés, les patients peuvent se fier à la sécurité des transfusions sanguines. Il n’est cependant pas toujours simple de maintenir un approvisionnement stable non contaminé par des donneurs de sang. Est-ce possible, une fois pour toutes, d’assurer un approvisionnement de sang adéquat et sécuritaire?

Les réserves actuelles de sang, souvent données par des bénévoles, peuvent être contaminées par le VIH et d’autres agents d’infection. Et les prélèvements de sang doivent être stockés au froid, où ils ont une durée de conservation de 28 jours. Vu les craintes relatives à la contamination et l’intérêt militaire d’un mode d’approvisionnement plus durable, la recherche de composés synthétiques est depuis fort longtemps une priorité médicale.

L’idée d’utiliser des substituts sanguins a été proposée au XVIIe siècle et continue, à ce jour, d’attirer des chercheurs. Plusieurs produits qui pourraient révolutionner la médecine sur le plan des transfusions ont déjà été développés dans la quête de substituts sanguins génériques, portables, de longue durée de conservation. Ces substituts pourraient ainsi remplacer les pratiques classiques de transfusion sanguine dans des situations extrêmes, comme sur les champs de bataille.

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