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An Alternative Solution to Treat Severe Blood Loss

Narrator:        This is Science Today. In the United States, the standard emergency treatment for patients suffering from severe blood loss is the intravenous administration of isotonic fluids - a solution that has the same salt concentration as blood. But researchers at the University of California, San Diego are exploring an alternative by testing fluids that are eight times saltier than the normal saline solutions. Dr. Raul Coimbra, chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, says their study involves the use of hypertonic saline.

Coimbra:         And the way it works is it draws water from the tissues into the blood vessels restoring blood pressure. UC San Diego has been the leader in researching hypertonic saline and in our own laboratory, we were the first one to demonstrate that hypertonic saline, in addition to restoring blood pressure, also affects positively the immune system.

Narrator:        Coimbra says this multi-center study is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.