Blaze is developing new clinical tests to aid in assessing the quality of stored blood, and also novel laboratory instruments to facilitate blood research.
The vast majority of blood transfusions are of Red Blood Cells (RBC), which are typically stored in 350mL units. Every year 15 million units of RBC are transfused in the United States, with about 85 million units transfused world-wide. Such high use of blood transfusions in clinical practice was made possible by the development of blood processing and storage methods. However, such storage is increasingly suspected as a major contributing factor to post-transfusion complications and suboptimal clinical outcomes – leading to a growing debate over the efficacy of “old” vs. “new” blood.
While the current assessment relies primarily on storage time with the assumption that a blood unit’s age reflects any quality loss, there is a significant “age-independent” variability. This variability depends upon the donor, processing methods, and other factors. By directly measuring physiologically-relevant cell properties for RBC units during storage, hospital blood banks and clinicians will have a means to make better decisions for enhanced patient safety and improved blood product utilization.