Studies have indicated that banked blood, especially the blood that is stored for longer period is inferior in its function. During the period of storage, blood looses its ability to transport oxygen. Timothy J. McMahon, M.D., PhD, who is an associate professor of medicine at Duke, says it is important to find methods to optimize and maximize the shelf life of the stored blood.
Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels to relax. But the stored blood slowly looses the chemical and thus making the blood slow in its circulation as well as exchange of oxygen. The duke researchers also explains the role of ATP (adenosine—5’—triphosphate). ATP works as an anti-adhesive. Red Blood Cells or erythrocytes release ATP, which helps the vessel walls to relax helping the blood vessels to dilate and promote normal blood flow. As the ATP released is diminished, it makes the blood more dense and viscous. The blood develops a sticky quality. The older the transfused blood, the higher are the risks. The blood cells tend to adhere to the walls of blood vessels and have a diminished oxygen transporting ability. The patient can be at the risk of cardiac arrest, or respiratory failure or other serious complications.
In order to prevent these risks after transfusion of old blood, it is necessary to improve or strengthen the RBC's with additional ATP. It is understood that with the release of additional ATP, the stored blood will have an increased ability to transport oxygen as well as normalize the blood flow within the vessels reducing the risks post-transfusion.