The Advantages and Disadvantages of Blood Doping

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Submitted By captm1989
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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Blood Doping

Over the past years, there have been many technological advances in the field of medicine. Some of them have proven to be extremely beneficial in creating a healthier society while others have been used for personal gain. The following essay will outline one of these advances, which is the medical phenomena of blood doping, also known as blood boosting and blood packing.

There has been much controversy surrounding the use of blood doping ever since it has gained mainstream publicity. From a medical and an ethical perspective, many consider the use it wrong and immoral. In the following paragraph, we will briefly introduce this concept by describing the process and how it can be utilized. Later on, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of employing blood doping.

Blood doping is a medical process used to increase the concentration of red blood cells in one’s body to a higher, supraphysiologic level (Shah 167). Athletes who would like to give themselves an advantage competing physically most commonly use it (Foschi, 458). This procedure can be achieved in two different ways. One can ask to have his or her own blood injected or can request the use of the blood of a matching donor. These processes are respectively called autologous and monologous transfusions. The red blood cells are usually removed over an extended period of time. The withdrawn blood is then refrigerated for preservation and finally re-injected 1-7 days before competition (Shah 167).

Although there are many who oppose the enhancing technique of blood doping, studies indicate that there are clear advantages and benefits that it brings. These advantages are especially attractive for endurance athletes such as cross country skiers, marathoners, and cyclists (Shah 168). With a minimum infusion of 900ml, one can expect an increase in…...

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