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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effect of Blood Transfusion on Oxygen Delivery in Anemic Hamsters

  • Author(s): Haddad, Rana
  • Advisor(s): Intaglietta, Marcos
  • et al.

Blood transfusions have long been the preferred treatment for severely anemic patients in medical practice, but recent studies show increased long-term mortality rates following a blood transfusion. Physical predictions of the effects of a blood transfusion show overall decreased oxygen delivery, in contradiction with the observed improved delivery in practice. To further explore this, Golden Syrian Hamsters were made anemic to 50% hematocrit deficiency and then transfused differing amounts of 70-72% pRBC blood units. The average percent change in physical parameters was calculated and compared between the normal baseline state, anemic state, and the post-transfusion state. Results suggest that increase in overall blood flow in response to hemodilution and blood transfusion is a major contributing factor in increasing oxygen delivery, in addition to increasing hematocrit levels. Further experimentation to confirm the effective degree of blood flow on increased oxygen delivery post-transfusion is a promising path to gaining deeper understanding of the physical effects of blood transfusion in anemic patients.

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