World’s first: Oz car crash victim saved using cow’s blood

London, May 5: In a world's first procedure, a synthetic blood substitute made from cow plasma was used to revive an Australian woman car crash victim just as her heart was failing through severe blood loss.

Tamara Coakley, 33, rejected a life-saving conventional blood transfusion because of her Jehovah's Witness faith despite being close to death, reports the Daily Mail.

Her religion permits the use of blood substitutes, and doctors in Melbourne flew in 10 unites of the haemoglobin- based experimental plasma - called HBOC-2-1 - from the U.S. where it is being developed by the military.

The cow's blood product was painstakingly administered over two days to Tamara, who had been in a medically-induced coma following a horrific car collision last October.

After a few close calls, including a bout of pneumonia, the patient's haemoglobin levels more than doubled.

Tamara was overwhelmed by the lengths doctors went to save her life and respect her personal choices.

"I'm glad something positive could come out of it. They did everything they could. I am so grateful for that," she said.

The success of the procedure could help combat the worldwide blood supply shortage.

Copyright Asian News International/