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Haemolysis of human blood has been examined in vitro as a function of pH in the range 7.2-8.0. The hydrogen ion concentration of freshly donated blood from 11 donors was manipulated in 42 experiments, entirely by altering the carbon dioxide fraction of air with which the blood was equilibrated using a membrane lung. In contrast to the known alkalaemic haemolysis which occurs in canine blood, we observed no correlation between plasma haemoglobin concentrations and blood pH. We conclude that alkalaemic haemolysis is unlikely to complicate the clinical application of extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal in the management of acute respiratory failure.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biomed Eng

Publication Date





369 - 374


Acid-Base Equilibrium, Adult, Artificial Organs, Carbon Dioxide, Female, Hematocrit, Hemolysis, Humans, Lung, Male, Membranes, Artificial, Middle Aged, Potassium, Sodium