beta_aquilae (beta_aquilae) wrote in little_details,
beta_aquilae
beta_aquilae
little_details

"Shelf life" of synovial fluid

What happens to synovial fluid and how should it be stored to prevent deterioration (especially if there's some blood in it), once it's been aspirated from a joint?

I have a character who trips and twists his knee rather badly while in the outskirts of civilisation, causing a partial tear in a ligament and a respectable amount of swelling. After several hours of misery he's lucky enough to get access to a medical professional with the supplies available to create a sterile field, aspirate around 40 cc of excess fluid from the joint, and do the whole RICE routine. The only thing missing is a lab, so it won't be possible to get the fluid to analysis until it's two days old.

If I read emedicine right, the blood from the ligament shouldn't coagulate, but since the only refrigeration possible is a 12V fridge with a tiny freezing compartment, I suspect that it won't be much point in saving it (for any useful purpose, I mean, since I have a hunch that it'll have to be disposed of by proper incineration rather than chucking it with general rubbish.) Can anyone confirm/disprove?

(Gore stories accepted with relish.)
Tags: ~forensics (misc), ~medicine: injuries (misc)
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