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...

ASBP-Pacific NW works for blood donation

Article
2/7/2019
ASBP logo

The Armed Services Blood Bank Center-Pacific NW is the only military blood supplier in the Northwest

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program

The simple – and complicated – task of shoveling snow

Article
2/5/2019
Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Seifridsberger shovels knee-deep snow to build a simulated hasty firing position during training exercise Ready Force Breach at Fort Drum, New York. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Andrew Carroll)

When in the throes of winter weather, there are ways to prepare for a successful, injury-free snow shoveling activity

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Reserve Health Readiness Program | Health Readiness | Physical Activity

Army Medicine joins forces with civilian hospitals to sustain medical readiness

Article
1/31/2019
Army Brig. Gen. Telita Crosland, RHC-Atlantic Commanding General, signs letter of commitment Jan. 18 recognizing the partnership between Army Medicine and Cooper University Health Care to provide advanced surgical trauma training allowing Army medical professionals to sustain their trauma skills by working alongside civilian counterparts at high-volume Level 1 trauma centers. Cooper joins the Oregon Health & Science University as one of the two trauma centers partnering with Army Medicine. (Courtesy photo by Cooper University Health Care )

The AMCT3 program addresses the 2017 NDAA directive for the Military Health System to establish partnerships to maintain trauma care competency

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Civil Military Medicine

Medical Airmen, volunteers keep blood supply flowing

Article
1/30/2019
Air Force Staff Sgts. Jasmine Gates, left, and Alexis Ellingson, right, both 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron aeromedical evacuation technicians, inventory and store a shipment of blood in the Blood Transshipment Center (BTC) at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Ellingson and Gates volunteered to prepare blood products for transport at the BTC. The BTC is comprised of a four-person team that orchestrates the flow of blood and platelet products to 72 forward operating locations and eight mobile field surgical teams throughout U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

We are the sole suppliers of blood units to our customers

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program

Acute Flaccid Myelitis Case Reporting

Infographic
1/29/2019
Acute Flaccid Myelitis Case Reporting

This case highlights important clinical characteristics of acute flaccid myelitis and emphasizes the importance of including AFM in the differential diagnosis when evaluating active duty service members and Military Health System beneficiaries presenting with paralysis.

Recommended Content:

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

Cardiovascular disease-related medical evacuations

Infographic
1/29/2019
Cardiovascular disease-related medical evacuations

This descriptive analysis summarizes the demographic characteristics, counts, rates and temporal trends for Cardiovascular disease-related medical evacuations from the CENTCOM area of responsibility. In addition, the percentage of those evacuated who had received pre-deployment diagnoses indicating cardiovascular risk is summarized. Responses to ...

Recommended Content:

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

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Infographic
1/29/2019
HPV

At the time of this report, there were no published studies of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) incidence over time among active component U.S. military personnel. Examining the incidence rates of NAFLD and their temporal trends among active component U.S. military members can provide insights into the future burden of NAFLD on the MHS.

Recommended Content:

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

Gaining new perspective through vision-correcting surgery

Article
1/29/2019
The Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program, available to active duty service members, provides an opportunity to correct vision with ease thanks to advancing technology. (Department of Defense photo by Reese Brown)

Once deemed a disqualifying factor for service, refractive surgery is now available to active duty service members through a Department of Defense approved program

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation | Vision Loss

Military Health System, industry allies work together to improve health care technology

Article
1/29/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director for combat support at Defense Health Agency, dual-hatted as the Defense Health Agency assistant director for Combat Support and MHS EHR functional champion, and Air Force Col. Thomas Cantilina, chief health informatics officer and EHR deputy functional champion at the DHA, visit the Tiger Institute Jan. 17. (Courtesy photo by University of Missouri Health Care)

Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne visits University of Missouri’s Tiger Institute for Health Innovation

Recommended Content:

Innovation | Secure Messaging | MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Electronic Health Record | Technology | Patient Safety Reporting | Combat Support

Transformation underway across the Military Health System

Article
1/29/2019
Thomas McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, with Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, celebrated the Defense Health Agency's fifth anniversary on Oct. 1, 2018, by welcoming the first military hospitals and clinics transitioning to the DHA. This was first step for the MHS to emerge as a more integrated and efficient system of health and readiness. (MHS photo by Military Heath System Strategic Communications Division)

All of these changes – the Military Health System transformation, MHS GENESIS, TRICARE enhancements – are aimed at taking the DoD’s health enterprise to the next level

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Health Readiness | TRICARE Health Program | MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Growing Air Force’s space medicine culture

Article
1/23/2019
Medical Airmen assigned to U.S. Air Force Space Command are charged with delivering care to the Airmen who launch, monitor and operate the Air Force’s satellite systems. As space continues to play an increasingly critical role in our nation’s defense, medical Airmen in AFSPC are also preparing for the future of space medicine. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The role of AFSPC medics to ensure space operators are medically ready to complete their mission

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

2019 TRICARE Winter Safety Kit

Infographic
1/22/2019
TRICARE Winter Safety Kit 2019

This infographic provides tips and information about staying safe and warm during a snow storm.

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Health Readiness | Preventive Health

A new year marks a new you

Article
1/18/2019
Navy Reserve Sailors assigned to Navy Operational Support Center, Phoenix perform a 1.5-mile run during the physical readiness test at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Drew Verbis)

Changes in lifestyle don’t have to be drastic to be effective

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Physical Activity

CJTH continues to provide superior care for U.S., coalition forces

Article
1/7/2019
A medical team transports a patient by a stretcher to Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 10, 2018. Before entering the hospital, patients are thoroughly assessed, administratively in-processed and checked for any explosive ordnance or weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois)

With a 99.3-percent survival rate, the hospital staff have reason to be proud

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Northstar Dustoff provides aeromedical evacuation in Kuwait

Article
1/4/2019
Army Soldiers assigned to the 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, Minnesota Army National Guard, and the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, pull a patient from a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter during an aeromedical evacuation rehearsal at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Emily Finn)

Northstar Dustoff has completed more than 60 aeromedical evacuations since August 2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 40

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.