Stored blood loses some of its punch

By Nathan Seppa, 15:57 PM April 15, 2008

Blood begins to lose nitric oxide shortly after it is drawn from a donor, two new studies show. The loss of this important chemical may explain earlier findings that transfusions seemed to harm rather than help some patients.

Nitric oxide (NO) dilates arteries, facilitating oxygen delivery to the tissues. In both studies, scientists tested stored red blood cells, which carry NO. They found that the cells lost at least 75 percent of their NO within 3 hours of being donated. The concentrations ...

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