Blood Doping Essay

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BLOOD DOPING Blood doping is an illicit method of improving athletic performance by artificially boosting the blood's ability to bring more oxygen to muscles. In many cases, blood doping increases the amount of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. Hemoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. So increasing hemoglobin allows higher amounts of oxygen to reach and fuel an athlete's muscles. This can improve stamina and performance, particularly in long-distance events, such as running and cycling. Types of Blood Doping The three widely used types of blood doping are: •blood transfusions •injections of erythropoietin (EPO) •injections of synthetic oxygen carriers Blood transfusions. In normal medical practice, patients may undergo blood transfusions to replace blood lost due to injury or surgery. Illicit blood transfusions are used by athletes to boost performance. There are two types: Autologous transfusion. This involves a transfusion of the athlete's own blood, which is drawn and then stored for future use. Homologous transfusion. In this type of transfusion, athletes use the blood of someone else with the same blood type. EPO injections. EPO is a hormone produced by the kidney. It regulates the body's production of red blood cells. In medical practice, EPO injections are given to stimulate the production of red blood cells. Athletes using EPO do so to encourage their bodies to produce higher than normal amounts of red blood cells to enhance performance. Synthetic oxygen carriers. These are chemicals that have the ability to carry oxygen. Two examples are: •HBOCs (hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers) •PFCs (perfluorocarbons) Synthetic oxygen carriers have a legitimate medical use as emergency therapy. It is used when a patient needs a blood transfusion but: •human blood is not available •there is a high risk of blood infection •there isn't

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