Back to Top Skip to main content

Freeze-dried plasma saves life

Navy corpsmen apply first aid to a training manikin during a training exercise. Since December 2016, every MARSOC special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman deploys with a supply of freeze-dried plasma and the experience to administer it. By October 2017, every MARSOC unit deployed will be outfitted with FDP. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Young) Navy corpsmen apply first aid to a training manikin during a training exercise. Since December 2016, every MARSOC special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman deploys with a supply of freeze-dried plasma and the experience to administer it. By October 2017, every MARSOC unit deployed will be outfitted with FDP. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Young)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Services Blood Program

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — The life of a foreign partner nation force member was saved recently through U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command’s (MARSOC) first operational use of freeze-dried plasma. 

The foreign ally sustained life-threatening injuries during an operation in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, requiring battlefield trauma care made possible by MARSOC training and availability of the new product. 

Critical Skills Operators reconstitute freeze-dried plasma during an exercise. CSOs go through a condensed version of FDP training to familiarize themselves with the product for use in the field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Salvador R. Moreno)Critical Skills Operators reconstitute freeze-dried plasma during an exercise. CSOs go through a condensed version of FDP training to familiarize themselves with the product for use in the field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Salvador R. Moreno)

According to Navy Lt. Eric Green, force health protection officer, freeze-dried plasma is providing better medical care on the battlefield. Green is the study coordinator with MARSOC Health Services Support. He explained that freeze-dried plasma is a dehydrated version of plasma that replaces the clotting factors lost in blood. Typically, plasma is frozen and thawed over a period of 45 minutes, preventing quick use in a deployed setting. 

Another disadvantage of traditional blood products for special operations is the need for additional equipment, such as refrigerators and electricity. This creates a higher target profile for special operations forces teams, and presents a logistical challenge for Navy corpsmen. Use of such equipment, as well as timely casualty evacuation options, is not always possible during SOF missions. FDP eliminates the need for this equipment and buys precious time for corpsmen to treat the injured before evacuation. 

“I think it reassures Raiders that when they’re in harm’s way, they have a life-saving product in the medical bags of their very capable corpsmen,” said Green. 

With the need for freezing and refrigeration eliminated, FDP can sustain a wider range of temperatures and is therefore more stable and reliable than traditional plasma during military operations. The dehydrated state of the plasma allows for a shelf life of two years and is compatible with all blood types. Before MARSOC received approval to begin use of freeze-dried plasma, battlefield treatment options for hemorrhaging – the leading cause of preventable death on the battlefield – were mainly limited to tourniquets and chemical clotting agents.  

“It is stable in the field unlike whole blood or if we were to do fresh plasma or frozen plasma, so our guys can carry it with them in their resuscitative packs,” said Navy Capt. Necia Williams, FDP primary principal investigator and MARSOC force surgeon with MARSOC HSS. “They can quickly reconstitute it, infuse it to somebody and it buys time that is so critical.” 

According to Navy Lt. Aaron Conway, Marine Raider Regiment surgeon with MARSOC HSS, reconstitution happens within six minutes and patients start showing improvement in vital signs minutes later. The precious time bought using FDP allows medical personnel to transfer patients to a hospital where they can receive full medical care. Conway, MARSOCs FDP principal investigator, said during medical care, FDP’s effects can be physically seen most in a patient when surgery and recovery is happening. 

Since December 2016, every MARSOC special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman deploys with a supply of freeze-dried plasma and the experience to administer it. By October 2017, every MARSOC unit deployed will be outfitted with FDP. 

Once the FDP has returned unused from a deployment it goes into quarantine and gets used during training exercises to prepare Navy corpsmen in its use. Corpsmen go through a rigorous academic and practical training process to prepare them for the field. They get practical experience before deploying and learn how to reconstitute and identify the indications to use FDP. 

“We’ve trained with it, we’ve sourced it to our guys, and now we’ve actually got the combat wounded application of the product,” said Conway. “I think it is a tip of the spear life-saving measure.” 

This life-saving measure is manufactured by French Centre de Transfusion Sanguine de Armees and used since 1994. They provide the U.S. with FDP while it is pending Food and Drug Administration approval and is under an Investigative New Drug protocol. Currently the use of FDP has been allowed within U.S. Special Operations Command. MARSOC was the second service component within U.S. Special Operations Command to receive approval for use of freeze-dried plasma. 

In 2010, Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, then-SOCOM commander, learned that U.S. allied forces were using FDP successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan. McRaven wanted it made available to U.S. forces, so he pushed his plan and helped expedite the process between the White House and the FDA. 

The main roadblock getting FDA approval was the historical spike of Hepatitis B after World War II, causing the stoppage of production and use by U.S. forces, resulting in rigorous testing and changes to the original formula. Plasma donors now undergo more testing for infectious diseases to prevent similar events. Freeze-dried plasma is expected to receive FDA approval by 2020. 

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Ready, set, focus: Finding calm in a storm through the power of breathing

Article
4/23/2018
Airmen and Soldiers practice breathing and relaxation during their off duty time in a deployed location. Stress can take its toll on your mental and physical health, including your heart health, but there are breathing techniques to buffer yourself from it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

‘Mindful minutes’ and deep breathing help on the job, airmen say

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Health Readiness

Hyponatremia

Infographic
4/13/2018
Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Heat Illness

Infographic
4/13/2018
Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

There were a total of 2,163 incident cases of heat illness among active component service members, including 464 cases of heat stroke and 1,699 cases of heat exhaustion.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Rhabdomyolysis

Infographic
4/13/2018
Rhabdomyolysis

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Cardiovascular Diseases

Infographic
4/4/2018
At the time of entry into military service, many members of the U.S. Armed Forces are young, physically active, and in good physical health. However, following entry, many service members develop or are discovered to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This report documents the incidence and prevalence of select risk factors for CVD among active component (AC) service members and provides estimates of the incidence rates of major categories of cardiovascular diseases themselves.

At the time of entry into military service, many members of the U.S. Armed Forces are young, physically active, and in good physical health. However, following entry, many service members develop or are discovered to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This report documents the incidence and prevalence of select risk factors for CVD ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Mental Health Problems

Infographic
4/4/2018
This report summarizes the numbers, natures, and rates of incident mental health disorder diagnoses as well as mental health problems among active component U.S. service members during 2007–2016.

This report summarizes the numbers, natures, and rates of incident mental health disorder diagnoses as well as mental health problems among active component U.S. service members during 2007–2016.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Eat an apple a day, but don't keep the dentist away

Article
3/27/2018
A child eats an apple during a Trunk-or-Treat event, which featured a healthy snack station as an alternative to candy, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike)

Good oral health takes more than brushing teeth and flossing – it also requires proper nutrition

Recommended Content:

Deployment Health | Health Readiness | Nutrition | Preventive Health

Global Influenza Summary: March 25, 2018

Report
3/25/2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

Global Influenza Summary: March 18, 2018

Report
3/18/2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

Global Influenza Summary: March 11, 2018

Report
3/11/2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | AFHSB Reports and Publications | Influenza Summary and Reports

Pediatric care in the military rated 'excellent' but can improve

Article
2/27/2018
Experts say pediatric care within the Military Health System is excellent as they strive to improve and provide top-quality care for military children. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Experts say pediatric care within the Military Health System is excellent as they strive to improve and provide top-quality care for military children

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Military Health System Review Report

Focus on prevention … not the cure for heart disease

Article
2/21/2018
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Cecily Dye is chief cardiologist at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas N. Lopez)

Many heart health problems can be avoided

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

‘Kissing disease’ exhausting, but it strikes only once

Article
2/15/2018
Mononucleosis is nicknamed the “kissing disease” because it’s spread through saliva. U.S. Navy Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Michael Zegarra shares the traditional first kiss with his wife Caterina Zegarra, after the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz pulled into port at Naval Base Kitsap, Washington, Dec. 10, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Greg Hall)

Mononucleosis: Learn how virus spreads, who’s most vulnerable

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health

Malaria U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
2/14/2018
Since 1999, the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) has published periodic updates on the incidence of malaria among U.S. service members. Malaria infection remains an important health threat to U.S. service members, who are located in endemic areas because of long-term duty assignments, participation in shorter-term contingency operations, or personal travel. This update for 2017 describes the epidemiologic patterns of malaria incidence in active and reserve component service members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Findings •	A total of 32 service members were diagnosed with or reported to have malaria, which is the lowest number of cases in any given year during the 10-year surveillance period. •	Health records documented the performance of laboratory tests for malaria for 22 of the cases. The tests for 17 of the 22 were positive for malaria ( stick figure graphic visually depicts this information). •	In 2017, 75.0% (24 of 32) of malaria cases among U.S. service members were diagnosed during May – October (calendar graphic showing the months visually). •	Of the 32 malaria cases in 2017, more than 1/3 of the infections were considered to have been acquired in Africa. Two bar charts display the following information: •	Bar chart 1: Numbers of malaria cases by Plasmodium species and calendar year of diagnosis/report, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008 – 2017  •	Bar chart 2: Annual numbers of cases of malaria associated with specific locations of acquisition, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008 – 2017  The majority of U.S. military members diagnosed with malaria in 2017 were: •	Male (96.9%) •	Active component (81.3%) •	In the Army (75.0%) •	In their 20’s (56.3%) Access the full report in the February 2018 MSMR (Vol. 25 No. 2). Go to www.Health.mil/MSMR  Picture of a mosquito displays on the graphic.

This update for 2017 describes the epidemiologic patterns of malaria incidence in active and reserve component service members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Surveillance for Vector-Borne Diseases, Active and Reserve Component Service Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010 – 2016

Infographic
2/14/2018
Within the U.S. Armed Forces considerable effort has been applied to the prevention and treatment of vector-borne diseases. A key component of that effort has been the surveillance of vector-borne diseases to inform the steps needed to identify where and when threats exist and to evaluate the impact of preventive measures. This report summarizes available health records information about the occurrence of vector-borne infectious diseases among members of the U.S. Armed Forces, during a recent 7-year surveillance period. For the 7-surveillance period, there were 1,436 confirmed cases of vector-borne diseases, 536 possible cases, and 8,667 suspected cases among service members of the active and reserve components. •	“Confirmed” case = confirmed reportable medical event. •	“Possible” case = hospitalization with a diagnosis for a vector-borne disease. •	“Suspected” case = either a non-confirmed reportable medical event or an outpatient medical encounter with a diagnosis of a vector-borne disease. Lyme disease (n=721) and malaria (n=346) were the most common diagnoses among confirmed and possible cases. •	In 2015, the annual numbers of confirmed case of Lyme disease were the fewest reported during the surveillance period. •	Diagnoses of Chikungunya (CHIK) and Zika (ZIKV) were elevated in the years following their respective entries into the Western Hemisphere: CHIK (2014 and 2015); ZIKV (2016). The available data reinforce the need for continued emphasis on the multidisciplinary preventive measures necessary to counter the ever-present threat of vector-borne disease. Access the full report in the February 2018 MSMR (Vol. 25, No. 2). Go to www.Health.mil/MSMR  Background graphic shows service member in the field and insects which spread vector borne diseases.

This infographic summarizes available health records information about the occurrence of vector-borne infectious diseases among members of the U.S. Armed Forces, during a recent 7-year surveillance period (2010 – 2016).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Chikungunya | Malaria | Zika Virus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 39

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.