Low titer group O whole blood resuscitation: Military experience from the point of injury

Andrew D. Fisher*, Ethan A. Miles, Michael A. Broussard, Jason B. Corley, Ryan Knight, Michael A. Remley, Andrew P. Cap, Jennifer M. Gurney, Stacy A. Shackelford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION In the far forward combat environment, the use of whole blood is recommended for the treatment of hemorrhagic shock after injury. In 2016, US military special operations teams began receiving low titer group O whole blood (LTOWB) for use at the point of injury (POI). This is a case series of the initial 15 patients who received LTOWB on the battlefield. METHODS Patients were identified in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry, and charts were abstracted for age, sex, nationality, mechanism of injury, injuries and physiologic criteria that triggered the transfusion, treatments at the POI, blood products received at the POI and the damage-control procedures done by the first surgical team, next level of care, initial interventions by the second surgical team, Injury Severity Score, and 30-day survival. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the clinical data when appropriate. RESULTS Of the 15 casualties, the mean age was 28, 50% were US military, and 63% were gunshot wounds. Thirteen patients survived to discharge, one died of wounds after arrival at the initial resuscitative surgical care, and two died prehospital. The mean Injury Severity Score was 21.31 (SD, 18.93). Eleven (68%) of the causalities received additional blood products during evacuation/role 2 and/or role 3. Vital signs were available for 10 patients from the prehospital setting and 9 patients upon arrival at the first surgical capable facility. The mean systolic blood pressure was 80.5 prehospital and 117 mm Hg (p = 0.0002) at the first surgical facility. The mean heart rate was 105 beats per minute prehospital and 87.4 beats per minute (p = 0.075) at the first surgical facility. The mean hospital stay was 24 days. CONCLUSION The use of cold-stored LTOWB at POI is feasible during combat operations. Further data are needed to validate and inform best practice for POI transfusion. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic study, level V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-841
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemorrhage
  • military
  • prehospital
  • transfusion
  • trauma


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