Military Supplement: Perfluorocarbon Gas Transport

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Perfluorocarbon (PFCs) compounds have been a hereto fore under realized pharmaceutical class of intravenous emulsions and respiratory adjuvants researched extensively since the late 1970. This review represents an introduction for a series of more detailed lectures/manuscripts that were part of a combined United States collaborative Federal agency meeting in early February, 2017 at Ft Detrick, MD, focused upon potential technologies in development to fulfill a perceived need: “When blood transfusion is not available.” As such, PFCs represent a distinctly different class of pharmaceutical artificial oxygen (and other gas) transporters than are hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs). These two classes of agents have contrasting mechanisms for respiratory gases transport; therefore, each has different advantages and side effects. Both PFCs and HBOCs have suffered from a misguided historical research effort to outperform human banked blood. The PFCs should be viewed as pharmaceuticals possessing unique gas solubility and diffusion characteristics such that they may relieve ischemia of tissues with low/flow—no flow states therefore they can enhance tissue salvage while other definitive treatments are being sought. PFCs as short-term enhanced tissue oxygen (and other gas enhancements) delivery vehicles should have varied and potentially game-changing medical potentials.

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