Development and Implementation of a Standard Operating Procedure for Military Working Dog Blood Collection, Storage, and Transport


Evernham EL, Fedeles BT, Knuf K 24(1). 28 (Journal Article)

Military working canines are critical assets and force multipliers for the Joint Force. Most often deployed forward of Role 2 assets, they are reliant on non-veterinary resources when wounded, ill, or injured in an operational environment. Hemorrhagic shock is the most prevalent form of shock seen in battlefield injuries and is most effectively treated with whole blood transfusion. Dogs cannot be transfused with human blood and there is no formal Department of Defense (DoD) canine blood product distribution system to operational settings. A walking blood bank is helpful when multiple dogs are geographically co-located and the resource can be provided to an injured patient quickly. In areas as widely dispersed as the Horn of Africa, the likelihood of co-location is slim and delaying this vital resource can mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, personnel at the Role 2 facility in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, filled a critical capability gap for the operational area by producing a local canine whole blood bank with distribution to multiple countries. This protocol can be replicated by other locations to improve medical readiness for the working canines who serve to maintain DoD Force Protection.

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