The Curse of Less Than Zero (O-)
As happens frequently, there is a shortage of O Neg blood. Hope people who have O Neg blood and are eligible to donate realize that we rely on one another. Please consider donating. It is a lot easier than you think.
In other news this week, there is a silicon valley start-up that is offering the fountain of youth (YMMV.) For a mere $8,000, you can get a liter of young blood. For $12,000, you can get 2 liters (about 4.23 pints.)
A graduate of Stanford University – incubator of such famous blood-linked companies as Theranos – has launched a controversial start-up company, called Ambrosia, that will, for a generous fee, replace the blood of older people with that of younger donors in yet another attempt to conquer aging. Business Insider reported on the company first, while admitting there is little to no evidence that the procedure actually works.
But that hasn’t stopped Ambroisa creator Jesse Karmazin, from accepting payments via PayPal for the procedure: he is charging $8,000 for one liter of young blood and $12,000 for two liters. Karmazin, who isn’t a licensed medical practitioner, told reporters last year that he had hoped to open his first clinic in New York City by the end of 2018. New York City has eluded him and instead he has opened locations in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa and Houston.
Just like Theranos, the company also performed its own clinical trial to figure out what the effects of blood swapping would be. These results haven’t been made public, but Karmazin has called them “really positive”. And despite the fact that there hasn’t been any evidence that it works, Ambrosia is allowed to continue under the FDA‘s approval of blood transfusions.
Here’s a Wikipedia article on Theranos. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theranos. Hmmm.
I’m not sure this idea works or doesn’t work. I don’t know enough to make any judgments. Is it hormones, minerals, “younger” red cells, or something else? Do those who spend $8k or $12k actually get more than the placebo effect?
All I know is that I give away my old, tired blood for free and it generally gets used to help infants. (Our bodies are very capable of making more.) Of course, the Red Cross charges recipients for the blood. It costs a lot to keep all the facilities open, to staff them, to process safely, and deliver the blood. They are selling their services to deliver safe blood where it is needed – not the blood itself.
One way to think about it: if you really, really, really needed a pint of blood, would you prefer a pint of gold?
The donation went as smoothly as it normally does. They told me that there is a critical shortage of all blood types nationwide. (There’s always a shortage of O negative.) If you’ve ever considered giving blood, now would be a good time to do so. Call 1-800-RedCross to find out where a blood drive is happening in your area and schedule an appointment or go to https://www.redcrossblood.org/ to find out if you’re eligible.
It literally is the gift of life.