Blood components are increasingly being used by the public for unapproved indications such as “restoration of youth”, blood doping and alternatives for surgery. Given this, transfusion medicine physicians may be asked to either provide input or perform these therapies. In this session, we will review the non-indicated uses of plasma, including platelet rich plasma, and red blood cells. We will discuss the role of regulatory agencies for oversight of these non-traditional indications. Using scientific literature, we will review the rationale, potential risks and purported benefits from the controversial use of these blood components. In particular for RBC doping, ban on use of blood transfusions and medications to increase the oxygen carrying capacity by anti-doping agencies and methods used by athletes and trainers to avoid detection will be reviewed.
Many transfusion medicine physicians have limited understanding on current unapproved and controversial uses of blood components. Despite this, they may be asked to either provide their input or perform these therapies. Given our expertise, by learning about these controversial uses of blood components, we can help our patients and clinical colleagues determine the appropriate risks and benefits associated with these therapies and potentially provide our input to anti-doping agencies, if needed.
Describe the use of young donor plasma to combat cellular senescence by reviewing studies on aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Appraise the illegitimate use of red blood cells (RBCs) and medications to increase RBC production for blood doping among athletes by reviewing methods used by athletes and their trainers to avoid detection of blood doping and current strategies implemented by anti-doping agencies.
Discuss the use of platelet rich plasma in aesthetic and orthopedic medicine.
Division Director of Transfusion Medicine Services,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences