Video: US Army Medical Brigade Tests Air Drops of American-Made Freeze Dried Plasma

The US Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) and an unnamed American medical company recently took part in a groundbreaking test mission that seeks to cut down on the amount of time needed to deliver blood plasma to wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

It was announced last week that airborne soldiers from the 432nd Blood Support Detachment, 44th Medical Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, recently packed their bags with rehydrated freeze-dried plasma (FDP) and boarded a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to test the transportation of the life-saving substance to injured troops in need.

“Tourniquets helped in enhancing survivability for our war fighters, but it’s blood that keeps them alive,” Col. Roberto E. Marin, the material systems branch chief of the US Army Medical Department, explained in the September 26 release.

According to the Army, 40% of combat casualties are related to severe blood loss.

Unlike fresh frozen blood (FFB), FDP can be stored at different temperatures in its “ready-to-use bag” and has a much shorter prep time.

“Currently FFB takes roughly thirty minutes to thaw for surgical use,” Captain Robert Crochet, a primary medical test officer, said in the release. “With freeze dried plasma, it takes roughly 1-6 minutes to rehydrate and become ready to administer to the casualty. Those minutes can be the difference in life or death.” 

Additionally, the FDP tested by US Army last week is said to be stored in a plastic bag and hard plastic…

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