A “buddy transfusion” with Fresh Whole Blood (FWB) is when blood is drawn and transfused in the field (out of hospital).
Though it is always preferred to use blood products from a regulated and approved source, there are some situations where a “buddy transfusion” with FWB is the only way to save the life of a bleeding soldier. This could for example be the case for Special Operations soldiers on combat missions to austere locations far from tertiary-level medical and surgical support.
FWB transfusion has the advantage that it requires minimal extra equipment to carry. Also, there are the biological advantages that FWB has been reported to have increased clotting factor activity and it is a source of fresh platelets, which are difficult to transport and use in the far forward environment.
The research program Blood Far Forward, initiated by the Norwegian Naval Special Operation Commando in 2010, works to improve battlefield survival by developing a safe method for pre-hospital whole blood transfusions based on “buddy transfusion” and field blood banks. The hope is that this research will provide new insights to increase operability and operational reach for military units. Also, further understanding of how and when to use FWB can lead to increased availability of blood in civilian crisis preparedness, off-shore installations and civilian Emergency Medical Systems.
To learn more about Blood Far Forward, click here
To learn more about Fresh Whole Blood transfusion capability for Special Operations Forces, click here
The ˚M Warmer System
The ˚M Warmer is a portable blood and IV fluid warming device optimal for both prehospital and hospital use as it is small, simple to use and has extremely efficient warming capabilities (150 ml/min).