How earthworms could be used to save lives on the battlefield

Lynne Adkins
January 22, 2020 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Earthworm hemoglobin could soon be used as a blood substitute to save the lives of soldiers in the field.

Dr. Jacob Elmer, associate professor of chemical engineering at Villanova University, says the substitute is plentiful and appears to work.

"You can go to Walmart right now and get them, Canadian nightcrawlers. So, so far we've only tested it in mice and hamsters but what we've seen so far has been very promising," he said.

He says in the past, blood substitutes have come from humans or cows and have all had serious side effects including stroke and heart attacks.

The earthworm substitute doesn't have to be refrigerated so it's perfect for use on the battlefield and it can be used for any blood type.