A common blood substitute has been found to be linked to more deaths than lives

Blood substitute (Credit: Nature)Researchers have found that a common blood substitute to revive the critically ill patients with low blood pressure can cause more deaths than lives.

This research has been published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers, in this study, worked on a corn-based hydroxyethyl starch solution, a commonly used blood volume expander, and compared it with other products. Researchers worked on 38 clinical trials involving 10,880 patients around the world and found that the chances of kidney failure and mortality were more in the patients, who received hydroxyethyl starch solutions.

“It’s used around the world in emergency rooms, intensive care units and surgical suites,” Zarychanski said in a short video produced by the university.

“Physicians like myself have often suspected the product may be associated with harm, but no study was adequately … designed to test this hypothesis.”

“We looked at all the studies conducted throughout the world to date on this product and we found clear evidence that in patients who received this product, compared to patients who received other resuscitation fluids, those patients have a greater chance of dying and having acute renal failure,” he added.

Reference:

Zarychanski, R. (2013). Association of Hydroxyethyl Starch Administration With Mortality and Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients Requiring Volume ResuscitationA Systematic Review and Meta-analysisHydroxyethyl Starch and Outcomes in Critically Ill JAMA, 309 (7) DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.430