Blood Sterilization With Ozone
Supply and Services Canada R&D
Science and Technology; No.234, Sept. 1992
Ozone may soon be used to destroy viruses in
donated blood, thanks to researchers at the Department of National
Defence (DND) and the Canadian Red Cross (CRCS). Under a $300,000
contract with the Surgeon General Branch of DND's National Defence
Headquarters, researchers from the National Reference Laboratory
of the CRCS are investigating two ozone sterilization technologies
to confirm their reported efficacy in deactivating a variety of
potential viral contaminants of blood, including HIV-1 and hepatitis.
"If the Canadian military is operating
in an underdeveloped part of the world and is cut off from its
supplies, we may have to resort to local blood sources",
says Major Brian Crowell, Health Services Research Coordinator
at DND. "We're looking for a sterilization technique that
can be taken to the field, put together on the tailboard of a
truck or in a tent, and used to sterilize donated blood quickly
Once developed, such a sterilization technique
would have applications beyond the military. Dr. Peter Gill, Director
of the CRCS' National Reference Laboratory, says ozone sterilization
technology could be used in disasters to aid civilian populations.
Researchers are investigating two methods of sterilizing blood
with ozone that have been patented by Medizone and Mueller Medical.
These ozone sterilization methods are easy to operate, quick to
perform and cheap. Researchers will also investigate ways to combine
ozone sterilization and filtration techniques. There are no known
adverse or toxic effects of ozone sterilization. In Europe in
1986, the University of Bonn investigated over 350,000 cases where
ozone was used therapeutically and found virtually no side effects
of ozone therapy when properly administered.
Results from Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland
indicate that ozone seems to destroy only infected cells, deactivating
them and the viruses in them, all without creating toxicity problems.
"The products of this research have worldwide applications"
says DND's Capt. Shannon. "Ozone sounds almost too good to
be true. We're trying not to be over-enthusiastic, but the data
so far is very compelling.
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