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...

DHA IPM 19-003: Reserve Health Readiness Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (i): • Provides utilization guidance and funding requirements for the RHRP contract to supplement Reserve Component Individual Medical Readiness (IMR) and Deployment Health activities when Service organic health readiness resources are not available to meet mission requirements. • Provides utilization guidance and funding requirements for the RHRP contract for Active Duty enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), USCG Reserves, and re-deploying DoD civilians (e.g., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command). • Communicate procedure guidance to all DoD organizations utilizing RHRP services. • Will expire effective 12 months from the date of issue and be converted to a DHA-Procedural Instruction.

  • Identification #: 19-003
  • Date: 3/8/2019
  • Type: DHA Interim Procedures Memorandum
  • Topics: Health Readiness

DHA PI 6025.07: Naloxone in the MTFs

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (h), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for prescribing and dispensing naloxone by pharmacists in MTFs to eligible beneficiaries, upon beneficiary request, or when the pharmacist determines the beneficiary meets the established criteria for being at risk for a life-threatening opiate overdose.

DHA PI 6200.05: Force Health Protection Quality Assurance (FHPQA) Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (ab), establishes the procedures for the FHPQA Program as defined in Reference (z). This DHA-PI applies to: a. OSD, the Military Departments (including the United States Coast Guard (USCG) at all times, including when it is a Service in the Department of Homeland Security by agreement with that Department), the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the DoD, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this DHA-PI as the “DoD Components”). b. Civilian personnel, as defined in Reference (e), and DoD contractor personnel authorized to accompany the force (CAAF), in accordance with References (j), (m), and (n), respectively.

  • Identification #: DHA PI 6200.05
  • Date: 5/2/2018
  • Type: DHA Procedural Instruction
  • Topics: Health Readiness

DoD Instruction 6200.05: Force Health Protection Quality Assurance (FHPQA) Program

Policy

This issuance establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and defines requirements for the development and establishment of the FHPQA Program in accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5124.02, Sections 731 and 738 of Public Law 108-375; Sections 1074f, 1092a, and 1073b of Title 10, United States Code; and DoDDs 6200.04 and 5136.13.

Guidance Regarding Zika Dengue and Chikungunya Viruses

Policy

This guidance contains information about the potential for transfusion-transmitted Zika infection; recommends facilitating donor self-deferral of 28 days after travel to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

DoD Instruction 6490.13: Comprehensive Policy on Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Neurocognitive Assessments by the Military Services

Policy

This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes standard elements, pursuant to section 722 of Public Law 111-383, requiring the implementation of a comprehensive neurocognitive assessment policy in the Military Services.

Embedded Fragment Analyses

Policy

Clarification of the Requirement for Continuation of Semi-Annual Reporting of Results of Embedded Fragment Analyses

Detecting and Reporting DoD Cases of Ebola Virus Disease Infection

Policy

Guidance as of 17 OCT 2014 from the Department of Defese (AFHSC)for Detecting and Reporting DoD Cases of Ebola Virus Disease Infection

Influenza Surveillance Program

Policy

Sentinel Sites for the 2014-2015 Influenza Surveillance Program

Deployment Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotrophic Medications

Policy

Policy memorandum about Deployment Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotrophic Medications

DoD Directive 6000.12E: Health Service Support

Policy

This directive designates the Secretary of the Army as the DoD Executive Agent for the Armed Services Blood Program Office (ASBPO) (Reference (h)), who exercises this authority through the Surgeon General of the Army, in accordance with DoDD 5101.1 (Reference (d)).

DoD Instruction 6480.04: Armed Services Blood Program Operational Procedures

Policy

This instruction assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures to carry out the responsibilities of the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) during peacetime, contingency, and wartime operations.

DoD Laboratories Participating in CDC Laboratory Response Network 03-213

Policy

Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories participating in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored Laboratory Response Network (LRN) do so with the approval and support of their respective Military Department Surgeons General.

Waiver of Restrictive Licensure and Privileging Procedures to Facilitate the Expansion of Telemedicine Services in the Military Health System 12-010

Policy

In order to facilitate the expansion of telemedicine services in the Military Health System, this memorandum waives selective provisions of Department of Defense 602S.13-R, "Clinical Quality Assurance in the Military Health System," June 11 , 2004. This waiver is conditioned on the specific provisions of this memorandum, and shall remain in effect, unless modified or revoked, until the cancellation and reissuance of DoD 602S.13-R, or the issuance of a Department of Defense Instruction for or including telemedicine.

Medical Planning and Programming Lexicon

Policy
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

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.