A Baltimore health-tech startup is developing a way to recycle blood
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Blood is one of those things Americans take for granted.
Here, when patients are rushed to the hospital after an accident and are losing a lot of blood, we assume the hospital will have units of donated blood ready to hook up when the ambulance arrives. We don’t think about how much each unit of blood costs — yes, it has a price — because we have health insurance that pays the bill.
That’s not the case in developing countries such as those in Africa. There, patients or the hospitals are responsible for covering the price tag for each unit of blood, which ranges from $80 to $200. Keep in mind a typical surgery will use several units of blood. What’s more, the supply is much thinner — blood borne diseases like HIV and AIDS limit who can donate blood; the nearest clinic with a blood supply may be miles away from the hospital.
One Baltimore medical device startup thinks it has a way to help. Sisu Global Health is developing a medical device that doctors could use to recycle a patient’s blood lost through traumatic internal bleeding.