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Are any of the emergency ambulances or hospitals in Lawrence or Kansas using the blood substitute PolyHeme instead of blood?

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical along with emergency responders in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties have participated in a national trial of PolyHeme, a red blood cell substitute developed by Northfield Laboratories Inc.

The substitute has been stocked on six area ambulances - five in Lawrence and one in Baldwin. The synthetic blood was delivered in January. Those close to the trial say it will be completed soon.

The trial continues until it reaches 720 participants. About 700 participants have been part of the national trial to date, said Dennis McCulloch, a spokesman for KU Hospital and KU Medical Center.

"I think it's a safe bet that they'll reach the goal by the end of the month," McCulloch said.

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