Medicines Next Big thing - Artificial Blood, Virus Filters, Organs

Published 02/20/09


Artificial blood and organs grown in a lab are saving lives.


Dr. Adel: Decades ago, we might not have imagined complex surgery done with tiny cameras and incisions the size of a mosquito bite, or lasers that could save vision and zap tumors. Those medical treatments are now common. But once, they were as striking as what you're about to see. Here are three areas where researchers may have found medicine's next big thing. This is the ride no one wants to take. Man 1: I tripped and fell, and hit the back of my head on the sidewalk. Man 2: Primarily what we'll see for trauma patients are car accidents... Man 1: My brain was bruised and has blood clots on it. Man 2: ...folks who've fallen a great distance, victims of violent shootings. Man 1: They had to do surgery immediately. Dr. Adel: About 1.5 million Americans suffer serious brain injury each year. Nearly a third die, and of those who live, 60% end up with some neurological dysfunction. Man 3: Falling from that distance, only five or six feet up and hitting your head hard enough, you can have a very bad head injury. Dr. Adel: An injured brain swells, and prevents red blood cells from carrying oxygen where it's needed. Brain tissue dies. Man 4: If you can get oxygen to that tissue, you can salvage a lot of the tissue. Dr. Adel: On the first frontier, and artificial blood called oxycyte. Man 4: When you take a carbon atom and you add fluoride to it, it can carry a huge amount of oxygen. Dr. Adel: Oxycyte particles are 1/50 to 1/100 the size of a red blood cell. Man 4: If your body can't get regular red blood into your brain, these little tiny particles can get there, and we believe deliver the oxygen. Dr. Adel: Seven of nine patients given oxycyte in an initial study not only survived, but had remarkable results. Man 4: The patients who survived had normal...

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