Published on May 3rd, 2012 | by James Johnson0
Paper-Based Technology Writes Out Blood Type For Emergency-Response Teams
When Professor Wei Shen of Monash University was watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets he became intrigued when Harry wrote a question on a piece of paper and a response appeared in writing. He then decided to create a paper-based device that would write a persons blood type in text, helping to ensure the right blood type is read each and every time, especially for emergency-response teams working in natural and other disaster scenarios.
The professor’s study was recently published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The new tech uses the ABO system which characterizes each blood type (A, B, AB, O) based on which antigens it contains.
When talking about why the test was necessary Shen told the BBC:
“We found that more than 80% of the population… could not interpret the result even if the result from a perfectly functioned blood typing assay was presented to them. But with a device that can spell out the patient’s blood type in written text, people will know their blood type easily.”
The paper-based blood test device is cheaper than tests currently used in hospitals and researchers have found it to be comparable in its results. Shen tells abc.net.au:
“We have tested 99 samples and so far we have found it has the same accuracy as the mainstream blood typing tests.”
Incorrect blood type labeling can cause strokes and even death in patients and in emergency situations which often include frantic procedures while dealing with many people this type of test could literally be a live saver for many people.
Amazingly the product is rather simply, constructed of just a small, square-shaped piece of paper that offers a water-repellant coating except for four squares on the sheet which detects each blood type.
While we likely won’t see the test in hospitals anytime soon military medics and fast response doctors looking for quick and hard to misread results could find this new product very useful.