The saga of 'artificial blood'
Will ersatz hemoglobin make blood banks obsolete? Hardly, say the two US physicians who have used the compound in a pinch. Fluosol-DA is actually misnamed "artificial blood." Its effects last only about 72 hours, and it lacks clotting factors and other properties of the real thing. But it can be useful for oxygen transport (as well as other functions of blood) in an emergency, particularly in patients who reject homologous blood transfusions on religious grounds.Clinicians who work with this perfluorochemical are anxious to see it tested further, and the American distributor (Alpha Therapeutic Corporation, a subsidiary of Fluosol's manufacturer, The Green Cross Corporation, Osaka, Japan) has now applied to the Food and Drug Administration for permission to conduct phase II clinical trials.So far, Fluosol has been given to three patients in this country under an interim investigational new drug (IND) permit. "Our first