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The Effect of Blood Transfusion on Oxygen Delivery in Anemic Hamsters


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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