Whole blood transfusion is being increasingly used for trauma resuscitation, particularly in military settings. Low-titre group O whole blood simplifies the logistical challenges and maximises the benefits of blood transfusion when compared with component therapy in austere battlefield conditions. Screening protocols and blood testing requirements for prescreened donors in walking blood banks (WBBs), which are used for emergency transfusions, are established by both the USA and most partner nations, though they are not necessarily uniform across these combined forces. Interoperability and standardisation of blood bank resources and protocols across allied forces in multinational military operations, including uniformity in screening processes, collection methods and storage is essential to the provision of safe and effective blood product transfusions in this austere setting. Predeployment screening, multinational training exercises and universal WBB sets with instructions in multiple languages can help enhance the interoperability of combined multinational operations and create a more efficient WBB system. Standardisation of blood collection, nomenclature, equipment and screening practices will allow for the most optimal utilisation of whole blood resources across a multinational battlefield.
- Blood bank & transfusion medicine
- Trauma management
- TRAUMA MANAGEMENT
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Contributors All authors (SH, JK, JC, FJ, KC and AL) contributed equally to the ideation, background, analysis, manuscript preparation and final manuscript approval.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.