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Understanding Blood and Blood Components

Bloodless Chart

Learn more about blood and 'minor blood fractions' with this helpful interactive chart.

Related Classes & Events

Bloodless Medicine

What is hemin? How is it used?

Hemin is a fraction derived from processed red blood cells. It is a salt which inhibits the production of a chemical compounds called porphyrins.

Porphryias are a rare group of disorders in which the porphyrins that the body produces are not broken down effectively and so these begin to build up. Porphyria is usually a hereditary disease. It can lead to symptoms such as light sensitivity which causes rashes, abdominal pain or cramping or problems with the nervous or muscular system.

A treatment for porphyria is the administration of hemin. This is done so as to reduce the porphyrins in the body to normal levels. Hemin can only be used under a doctor's care and can only be given intravenously. An example of a product containing hemin is a product from Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. called Panhematin.

Can a patient who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses choose to accept a product containing hemin? As hemin is a fraction derived from processed red blood cells, this is a product about which each person would need to make his own decision.

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