*** g 8/06 p. 11 The Real Value of Blood ***
What Are Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers?
Within each red blood cell are some 300 million hemoglobin molecules. Hemoglobin represents about one third of the volume of a mature red cell. Each molecule contains the protein globin and a pigment called heme—which includes an iron atom. When a red blood cell passes through the lungs, oxygen molecules penetrate the cell and attach themselves to hemoglobin molecules. Seconds later, the oxygen is discharged into body tissue, sustaining the life of the cells.
Some manufacturers now process hemoglobin, releasing it from human or bovine red blood cells. The extracted hemoglobin is then filtered to remove impurities, chemically modified and purified, mixed with a solution, and packaged. The end product—not yet approved for use in most lands—is called a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, or HBOC. Since the heme is responsible for the rich red color of blood, a unit of HBOC looks just like a unit of red blood cells, the primary component from which it is taken.
Unlike red blood cells, which must be refrigerated and discarded after a few weeks, the HBOC can be stored at room temperature and used months later. And since the cell membrane with its unique antigens is gone, severe reactions due to mismatched blood types pose no threat. However, compared with other blood fractions, the HBOC presents more challenges to conscientious Christians, who seek to obey God’s law on blood. Why? As long as the HBOC is derived from blood, there are two objections that may be raised. One, the HBOC carries out the key function of a primary component of blood, the red cells. Two, hemoglobin, from which the HBOC is derived, makes up a significant portion of that component. Regarding this and similar products, then, Christians face a very serious decision. They must carefully and prayerfully meditate on Bible principles concerning the sacredness of blood. With a keen desire to maintain a good relationship with Jehovah, each must be guided by his Bible-trained conscience.—Galatians 6:5.
Hemopure, developed and produced by OPK Biotech, is a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier based on chemically stabilized bovine hemoglobin. It has been developed for potential use in humans as an oxygen delivering bridge in cases when blood is not available or is not an option. The product, Hemoglobin-glutamer 250 (Bovine) approved for human use and sale in South Africa for several years.
"Oxyglobin", a similar product Hemoglobin-glutamer 200 (Bovine) or HBOC-301 was approved for use to treat canine anemia in 1998.
(Look up more on the source of the hemoglobin...direct from the blood)