Surgery: the auto-transfusion of patients will soon be possible during operations.
A French innovation to overcome platelet shortages and minimize the risks of conventional transfusions. The blood lost by the patient is retransfused during the operation.
Today’s innovation is a medical innovation. A system to auto-transfuse a patient during an operation and so avoid blood shortages.
It’s a very simple and common sense idea: in surgery, when we perform certain operations, the patient can lose a lot of blood. To compensate for this, we need to transfuse new blood. However, blood is precious and rare. There are risks of infection and incompatibility between donor and recipient. Hence the idea of recovering the blood lost by the patient… then treating it… and transfusing it again. Not only does this process save money, it also avoids complications. Well now, for the first time we’re able to auto-transfuse all the components of a person’s blood: both red blood cells and platelets.
So this could be a solution to the shortages? A few months ago, the Department of Health sounded the alarm because the blood supply was at its lowest point ever.
Yes, because we won’t have to use up stocks. What’s more, this innovative technology is from France (Nantes, to be precise). It was developed by scientists from i-SEP, a startup. The technology has been patented in 13 countries to ensure proper protection, an important proactive measure since this technology is unique; there are competing systems but they don’t recover platelets even though these are essential for clotting, to prevent bleeding after surgery.
The WHO and the European Commission are asking hospitals to save blood and to transfuse only when absolutely necessary. So this is the kind of technology that could become indispensable in the future.