Effect Of Helicopter Transport On Red Blood Cell Components


In the study published by Blood Transfusion = Trasfusione del sangue, it was investigated whether a helicopter flight affected the quality and shelf-life of stored RBCs (red blood cells). The authors investigated the quality of RBC samples that had undergone a helicopter flight, comparing the values for these samples with those of control RBCs that remained in a laboratory refrigerator.

In the experiment, the temperature of the dummy blood bag remained between 2 and 6 °C during the flight although the ambient temperature ranged from 6.1 to 27.8 °C. Furthermore, the results suggest that Hct values, intracellular pH, ATP levels, 2,3-DPG levels, glucose levels, and supernatant potassium concentrations of RBCs are not significantly affected during the flight. Finally, the rate of hemolysis remained at all times below the level (0.8%) recommended by European and UK guidelines.

In short, all data from the RBCs that had undergone helicopter transportation were the same as those from a control group of RBC samples, indicating that the storage of RBCs is not significantly affected by helicopter transportation, thereby no clinical significance.

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