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Shared Blood: Expeditionary Resuscitative Surgical Team (ERST-5) Use of Local Whole Blood to Improve Resuscitation of Host Nation Partner Forces

Winter 2019

Bowman M, Ashbaucher J, Cohee B, Fisher MS, Jennette JB, Huse JD, Copeland C, Muir KB. 19(4). 85 - 87. (Journal Article)


US Special Operations Forces work by, with, and through partner forces (PFs) to accomplish mutual objectives. Surgical teams support these forces directly and may assist in treating injuries sustained by PF, based on established medical rules of engagement. These surgical operations are often conducted in austere conditions, with limited access to blood products. Limited blood product availability decreases US medical capacity to resuscitate injured PFs and augment the local trauma system. We present an innovative solution used by an expeditionary resuscitative surgical team (ERST) and Special Operations civil affairs team to partner with host nation (HN) medical personnel to improve PF access to damage control resuscitation and surgery. Whole blood obtained through a local HN hospital was provided to the ERST to allow for increased capacity to resuscitate PF casualties and augment the local trauma system. The ERST subsequently used this blood to resuscitate two PF surgical casualties.

Keywords: walking blood bank; stored whole blood; austere surgical team; US military

PMID: 31910477

DOI: 10.55460/L0IH-CF0A

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