Whole blood transfusion closest to the point-of-injury during French remote military operations

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Abstract

To improve the survival of combat casualties, interest in the earliest resort to whole blood (WB) transfusion on the battlefield has been emphasized. Providing volume, coagulation factors, plasma, and oxygenation capacity, WB appears actually as an ideal product severe trauma management. Whole blood can be collected in advance and stored for subsequent use, or can be drawn directly on the battlefield, once a soldier is wounded, from an uninjured companion and immediately transfused.

Such concepts require a great control of risks at each step, especially regarding ABO mismatches, and transfusion-transmitted diseases. We present here the “warm and fresh” WB field transfusion program implemented among the French armed forces. We focus on the followed strategies to make it applicable on the battlefield, even during special operations and remote settings, and safe for recipients as well as for donors.

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