If you ever had to arrange some bottles of blood urgently, you would certainly know the importance of blood sampling for checking blood group and diseases. These screenings are made to be as quick and efficient as possible, but they also need to be pretty accurate since an error could mean certain death for the patient involved.

Usually, the screening process takes about 10 to 20 minutes with the current technology, which is too long to verify someone’s blood type in case an accident or under surgery patient is waiting. So instead, the blood banks usually keep a steady stack of blood bottles in case of an emergency, especially for type O which is a universal donor blood. However, this is only possible in the developed areas, and not quite so much for war zones and third world countries.

Thus, the latest technique developed by researchers from the Third Military Medical University in China is a godsend as it claims to be able to test and verify patient’s blood type within 30 seconds. They use a paper-based test, and without the help of any specialized equipment or training, the blood group of the patient and the donor can be tested with 99.9 percent accuracy. This ensures quicker verification of blood in life-or-death situations, especially in the far-fetched lands while it will also ease up the demand for type O in hospitals and blood banks.

The new paper based technique was tested on 3,550 blood samples, and the scientists concluded that the technique could give results with two simple steps while taking less than 30 seconds.

To test whether the blood is disease free and has a matching blood type, the technique involves using chemical reactions between blood serum proteins and common dye. The blood is dropped on the test strip containing antibodies recognizing blood types, while the strip changes color to teal if the blood group contains any antigen while it turns brown if it doesn’t.

Dr. Hong Zhang, of Third Military Medical University, said:

“The rapid turnaround time of the test could be ideal for resource-limited situations, such as war zones, remote areas, and during emergencies.”

Check out this kit in action in the video below!