How Marines Are Harnessing Freeze-dried Plasma To Save Lives

marine corps aviationCAMP SHELBY JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Miss. — Critical Skills Operators with Oughout. S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command simulate administering freeze-dried plasma to a role-playing casualty throughout a Raven exercise at Camp Shelby Joint Force Training Center, Miss., May 1, 2017. (Photo By: Sgt. Salvador R. Moreno)

Starting next week, all U. S. Navy corpsmen serving with the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) overseas will be equipped with freeze-dried bloodstream plasma. The decision to have almost all units carry the lifesaving blood item comes after it was used earlier this year in order to save the life of a wounded military associate from an allied nation.

But the freeze-dried plasma (FDP) utilized in that rescue was provided towards the Marines by an allied nation, as will all the FDP the particular Marines will be carrying in the foreseeable future. That’s because, even though America’s European allies have been using FDP in the field to get more than 20 years, its produce in the United States still hasn’t been approved by the Food plus Drug Administration.

Plasma â€? a combination of water, sugar, fat, protein, salts and blood components including red blood, white blood cells and platelets â€? contains proteins that assistance to deliver nutrients and even medicines whilst preventing blood vessels from collapsing plus clogging. It also contains coagulation factors that stop bleeding, “making it an important blood product to have on the battlefield,” according to the Armed Services Blood Programs.


Freeze-dried flat screen, like other freeze-dried products, is usually lightweight and requires no refrigeration. Just add water and blend.

“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 MARSOCC force cosmetic surgeon U. S. Navy Capt. Necia Williams, in a statement.

And in contrast to much heavier fresh frozen flat screen, which is stored at about 4 levels below zero Fahrenheit and needs a 45-minute thawing process, FDP reconstitutes in roughly six minutes. Patients� vital signs begin to improve mins later, and the time saved provides the military more time to transfer injured patients to a hospital where they could receive full medical care, said Oughout. S. Navy Lt. Aaron Conway, a Marine Raider Regiment cosmetic surgeon, in a statement obtained by the Oughout. S. Naval Institute.


“They can quickly reconstitute it, infuse it to somebody and it buys time that is so critical,” said Williams.

The process for making FDP has been around considering that World War II, when it included pooling plasma from up to one, 000 donors, which increased the chance of spreading blood-borne infections like Hepatitis B.

But donors undergo a lot more rigorous testing for diseases compared to they did 75 years ago, plus FDP is widely used by many American allies. In 2010, Adm. William McRaven, then commander of Special Operations Command, learned that Allied causes were successfully using FDP within Afghanistan and Iraq, and he wanted to make it available to U. S. makes. A special arrangement was made to enable deployed forces to use French-made FDP while the military worked with U. T. pharmaceutical firms to create an FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION approved product.


The utilization of FDP has been allowed within Oughout. S. Special Operations Command, along with MARSOC the second service component inside U. S. Special Operations Command to receive approval for its use.

Freeze-dried plasma now is expected to receive FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION approval by 2020. In the particular meantime, American troops will carry on and rely on their European allies {for their|for his or her|for

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