Scientists have revealed that artificial blood could be used in transplants within the next decade.
It will be created from adult stem cells, while other alternative substances are also being worked on to provide a "stopgap" until a transfusion can be performed on a patient.
Researchers from Edinburgh University have been working on a method of taking adult stem cells from bone marrow before growing them to make cells which are similar in function to red blood cells.
"I think it will probably be two or three years before we get to clinical trials and I would think it will be a decade or so before one sees these kinds of artificial red cells or cultured red cells in routine general practice," said Professor Marc Turner.
Blood manufactured in this way could help to solve concerns that the real substance becomes less effective after it has been stored for a long time, while the rate O-negative solution could be produced.
According to the NHS, around two million units of blood are supplied each year in England and North Wales.