According a new article published by the New Scientist on Monday, a new group of enzymes have been found that effectively remove the cellular antigens that are the basis for blood typing. In easy words, they turn any blood type to Type O, which anyone can receive.
Sure this is not going to solve the problem faced in health care due to a lack of blood and blood products, but it should make an impact. The arena where this will probably be seen the most will be in the field of trauma resuscitation where it is not uncommon to burn through tens of units of blood, if not more, in a trauma situation. I think the most blood I’ve been on-hand to see given when in an ICU as a student where we gave 6 units of PRBCs plus a six-pack of platelets during the 6 hours I was on the unit…which really is nothing. Most I gave in a shift was only 3 units, over a whole 12 hour shift.
The other flip side is that it does nothing to address problems of plasma and platelets, two other common forms of blood products typically given in the in-hospital setting. But, it is progress.