Consumer news from Washington: The Navy will not be allowed to test a new “blood substitute” (derived from cow’s blood) on 1,000 some civilian trauma victims without their consent. From MSNBC:
- The development and testing of experimental blood substitutes has been fraught with controversy: Baxter International Inc. stopped research on one such product in 1998 when more than 20 patients given the substitute died.
A second company, Northfield Laboratories Inc., began clinical trials in 2004 of another product, called Polyheme, giving it to trauma patients without their consent on the way to — and later, at — the hospital. Hemopure would be given only en route to the hospital under the Navy proposal.
A Navy official said the blood substitute could save lives on the battlefield in places like Iraq. So why don’t they test it there? “The Navy wants to test Hemopure in the civilian world because the battlefield is too uncontrolled an environment. “—MEGHANN MARCO (Thanks, Kristin)