Back to Top Skip to main content

First cold storage platelet unit collected in Southwest Asia

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Flannigan, NCO in charge of the apheresis element with the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group, monitors the Trima Accel Automated Blood Collection System machine used to obtain blood platelets from donors at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Apheresis element Airmen are tasked with collecting and storing platelet products and providing them for distribution throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cynthia A. Innocenti) Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Flannigan, NCO in charge of the apheresis element with the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group, monitors the Trima Accel Automated Blood Collection System machine used to obtain blood platelets from donors at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Apheresis element Airmen are tasked with collecting and storing platelet products and providing them for distribution throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cynthia A. Innocenti)

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Health Readiness | Innovation

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar— Recently, Al Udeid Air Base shipped its first unit of cold storage platelets to a location within the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Area of Responsibility. The shipment marked the first time cold storage platelets have been stored and shipped from Al Udeid Air Base for use in the AOR. The platelets were collected from a volunteer donor and processed by the Apheresis Element here. 

“This is huge for the war fighter,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Becky Pederson, chief assigned to the Apheresis Element of the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group.

Platelets are separated out and collected during apheresis at Al Udeid, Air Base, Qatar. The platelets will be shipped to locations across the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility using a cold storage platelets technique. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider)Platelets are separated out and collected during apheresis at Al Udeid, Air Base, Qatar. The platelets will be shipped to locations across the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility using a cold storage platelets technique. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider)

Pederson explained that CSP is a new technique involving the handling, storage and shipment of platelets. By authorizing the use of CSP for DoD purposes outside of the United States, U.S. Central Command has made it possible to ship platelets to remote locations where they have not been available in the past. The current standards for handling platelets, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, known as room temperature platelets, require platelets to be stored at room temperature, limiting the shelf life to five to seven days and requiring constant agitation making it nearly impossible to ship to locations where equipment and access is limited. 

The process for CSP has many advantages over the current FDA approved room temperature method. While room temperature platelets are susceptible to bacterial contamination, CSP are stored in a refrigerated environment with the likelihood of bacterial contamination nearly eliminated. In addition, RTPs must sit for 24 hours before they can be tested for bacteria prior to shipment, further limiting the viable shelf life of the product. CSP, on the other hand, can be tested within one hour of collection and shipped in a cooler the same day, possibly arriving to the field hospital with eight or nine days of shelf life. 

“It changes the entire strategy for transfusions; I think it’s a very exciting development,” said Air Force Capt. Timothy Sommerville, internal medicine doctor assigned to the 379th EMG, referring to the use of CSP. “I think it has the potential to really move field medicine closer in line with the standard of care in the United States.” 

There are two general options for treating a patient with significant blood loss. A doctor can conduct a transfusion using whole blood or use blood component therapy. 

“Component therapy is a gold standard,” said Pederson. Safer than using whole blood, component therapy is the most commonly accepted method for conducting blood transfusions. 

Packed red blood cells and blood plasma have been available in the field for some time, and now CSP gives doctors all the components they need to use blood component therapy in trauma centers across the AOR. Blood component therapy refers to the procedure where blood is delivered to a patient in three separate components; packed red blood cells, blood plasma and blood platelets. 

Blood used in whole blood therapy is available in two forms. The first form consists of pre-packaged units collected from donors, which are shipped and stored under refrigerated conditions. The second and more common form in battlefield conditions, explained Sommerville, is whole blood collected from a “walking blood bank” or, in other words, someone with the right blood type who is willing to donate then and there. The problem with a walking blood bank, however, is that although you get a fresh supply of vibrant blood, rejection is always a real possibility when using whole blood. 

“There is almost no situation within the United States in which we would give whole blood,” said Sommerville. He goes onto explain that whole blood therapy is generally outdated and only used when component therapy is not an option. 

“Most facilities down range do not have the capability to store platelets,” said Pederson, in reference to the FDA approved method of platelet storage. 

Blood platelets are collected through the process of apheresis, which lasts approximately two hours. During that time, the donor’s blood is removed through a needle inserted in the vein above the elbow. The blood is circulated through an apheresis machine, where the platelets are separated out and the blood, minus the platelets, is returned to the donor. The process is comfortable and safe and most donors leave feeling great and generally unaffected by the donation. 

It is very likely that CSP, a method developed by the military to advance the capabilities for saving lives in the field, will eventually be the standard practice used around the world for handling and shipping platelets. 

“It’s a game changer, that’s for sure,” said Sommerville. 

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

You also may be interested in...

Stop the Bleed: A battlefield innovation on civilian soil

Article
7/19/2019
USU's Dr. Craig Goolsby (center) observes as high school students at a conference in Orlando, Florida, practice using a tourniquet after watching a web-based tutorial. Goolsby is researching effective teaching methods as part of a grant to develop a trauma first-aid course for students that incorporates elements of Stop the Bleed. (USU photo by Sarah Marshall)

Program teaches public how to respond to bleeding emergencies

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Innovation | Medical Research and Development | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Bug Week Fact Sheet Babesia

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Babesia is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Armed Services Blood Program

Bug Week Fact Sheet Chagas

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Chagas is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program

Bug Week Fact Sheet Dengue

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Dengue is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet Malaria

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Malaria is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet West Nile

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how West Nile is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

New Blood-mobile to aid ASBP Fort Bliss

Article
7/10/2019
Leadership from William Beaumont Army Medical Center, the Fort Bliss Armed Services Blood Program Blood Donor Center, and the El Paso Veteran’s Affairs Health Care System pose for a picture in front of the new blood-mobile that arrived July 2, 2019, at WBAMC. (U.S. Army photo by Amabilia Payen)

Fort Bliss provides about 20 percent of the blood that the Army sends downrange

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program

Armed Services Blood Program Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
6/26/2019

This fact sheet describes the Armed Services Blood Program, and provides locations of where you can donate blood for the military.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program

Sexually transmitted infections on the rise in military

Article
6/26/2019
Some sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the military. To increase awareness, members of Team McConnell attend a briefing on STIs at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick)

What you need to know to stay safe

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Men's Health | Women's Health

German allies visit JBSA-Fort Sam Houston on 75th anniversary of D-Day

Article
6/14/2019
Maj. Gen. Gesine Kruger, Commander for the German Bundeswehr Medical Academy (pictured center in the Flight Paramedic Training Simulator) and her delegation observed training and toured the Critical Care Flight Paramedic Course at the Health Readiness Center of Excellence. (U.S. Army photo)

The purpose of this visit was to further strengthen the bonds and interoperability programs between our allied countries or partner nations

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness

Cyclosporiasis

Infographic
6/1/2019
Cyclosporiasis

Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in a U.S. Air Force Training Population, Joint Base San Antonio–Lackland, TX, 2018 While bacteria and viruses are the usual causes of gastrointestinal disease outbreaks, 2 Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)– Lackland, TX, training populations experienced an outbreak of diarrheal illness caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis in June and July 2018. Cases were identified from outpatient medical records and responses to patient questionnaires.

Recommended Content:

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

Norovirus

Infographic
6/1/2019
Norovirus

Norovirus Outbreak in Army Service Members, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, May 2018 In May 2018, an outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses due to norovirus occurred at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The outbreak lasted 14 days, and a total of 91 cases, of which 8 were laboratory confirmed and 83 were suspected, were identified.

Recommended Content:

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

Female infertility

Infographic
6/1/2019
Female infertility

Female infertility, active component service women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2018 This report presents the incidence and prevalence of diagnosed female infertility among active component service women. During 2013–2018, 8,744 active component women of childbearing potential were diagnosed with infertility for the first time, resulting in an overall incidence of 79.3 cases per 10,000 person-years (p-yrs).

Recommended Content:

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

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 6 - June 2019

Report
6/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Modeling Lyme disease host animal habitat suitability, West Point, New York; Incidence, timing, and seasonal patterns of heat illnesses during U.S. Army basic combat training, 2014–2018; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Preventive Medicine techs foil the foe

Article
5/6/2019
The Food Safety Managers Course can positively impact mission readiness. By inspecting food and food service facilities, and if needed, conducting bacteriological analysis of food, water, and ice samples keeps those food and water borne contaminants away. (U.S. Army photo)

The adversary can impact Sailors and Marines everywhere

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 41

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.