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ASAIO J. 2009 Sep-Oct;55(5):469-73. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e3181b28a5a.

The relationships between air exposure, negative pressure, and hemolysis.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Critical Care, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe the hemolytic effects of both negative pressure and an air-blood interface independently and in combination in an in vitro static blood model. Samples of fresh ovine or human blood (5 ml) were subjected to a bubbling air interface (0-100 ml/min) or negative pressure (0-600 mm Hg) separately, or in combination, for controlled periods of time and analyzed for hemolysis. Neither negative pressure nor an air interface alone increased hemolysis. However, when air and negative pressure were combined, hemolysis increased as a function of negative pressure, the air interface, and time. Moreover, when blood samples were exposed to air before initiating the test, hemolysis was four to five times greater than samples not preexposed to air. When these experiments were repeated using freshly drawn human blood, the same phenomena were observed, but the hemolysis was significantly higher than that observed in sheep blood. In this model, hemolysis is caused by combined air and negative pressure and is unrelated to either factor alone.

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