The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Voluven as a treatment for blood loss after surgery.
Voluven is an intravenous solution that expands blood volume, the agency said Thursday in a release.
Significant blood loss can cause a rapid drop in the volume of red blood cells and plasma circulating through the body. This can lead to shock, which is potentially fatal.
Blood volume expanders are commonly administered to restore quickly some of the lost volume so remaining red blood cells can continue to deliver needed oxygen to the body's tissues, the FDA said.
Voluven, made by the German-firm Fresenius Kabi, contains a synthetic starch that does not dissolve in water. It was found in clinical trials to be as safe and effective as other blood volume expanders, the agency said.
The most common side effects from Voluven were nausea and itching.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International