Osmosis is important!
· Large volumes of a solution of 5% human albumin are injected into people undergoing a procedure called plasmapheresis.
· The albumin is dissolved in physiological saline (0.9% NaCl) and is therefore isotonic to human plasma (the large protein molecules of albumin have only a small osmotic effect).
· If 5% solutions are unavailable, pharmacists may substitute a proper dilution of a 25% albumin solution. Mixing 1 part of the 25% solution with 4 parts of diluent results in the correct 5% solution of albumin.
· BUT, in several cases, massive, life-threatening hemolysis (bursting of red blood cells) occurred in the patients after the treatment.
What might have happened? Discuss!