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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 11 April
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DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
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Tuesday 11 April 2004
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Blood

Full programme transcript >>

Each year volunteers donate 2.5 million units of blood – but what happens to them? Dr Mark Porter follows the trail from volunteer to patient as the National Blood Service strives to meet demand from the NHS. And he discovers, first hand, what’s involved in becoming a donor.

Transfusions
Thousands of patients are giving blood transfusions every day in the NHS – in many cases to replace blood lost during major surgery. Transfusions can be life-saving but they can cause problems too – in the past they have spread infection (HIV and hepatitis C) and recent research suggests they may impair immunity in cancer patients. Mark investigates two alternative approaches that involve giving the patient their own blood – either from donations made prior to planned surgery, or via recycling during the operation.

Anaemia
The main function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen from the lungs to the brain, organs and muscles but 1 in 10 women and 1 in 30 men don’t have enough to do the job properly – a condition called anaemia. Tell-tale signs include looking pale, feeling tired and breathlessness. Why is anaemia so common in women? And why is it often a symptom of more sinister underlying problems in men?

That’s Case Notes on blood on Tuesday 11th May 2004 at 9pm and Wednesday 12th May at 4.30pm.

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