BRONX, N.Y., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- An artificial blood product reportedly shows promise in clinical trials in Stockholm, the first time a blood substitute has been used successfully in humans.
The substance was developed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, supported by $2.2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army.
A powdered version of the substitute that can be reconstituted as needed with the simple addition of water is also in development.
One researcher told the BBC: "If this really works all the way, then mankind will have taken a big step forward."
Dr. Seetharama Acharya led the Einstein research. Using donated blood, which generally has a shelf-life of 42 days, Acharya developed a technology making the hemoglobin removed from "old" red blood cells suitable for use in transfusions.
"With our blood product, the issue of blood typing is removed," Acharya said.
"When time is of the essence -- on the battlefield, for example -- being able to provide a blood transfusion without the need for typing can save critical seconds," said Dr. Joel Friedman, professor of biophysics and physiology at Einstein.