Transfusion of whole blood to patients is not new and was the standard of care prior to the advent of component therapy and low-titer, type O whole blood (LTOWB) is still the standard of care in the military theater. Presently, LTOWB transfusions are now increasing in civilian hospitals, primarily in the resuscitation of trauma patients, but also in non-trauma patients requiring massive transfusion.
While implementing an LTOWB transfusion program may seem simple, there are numerous challenges including donor recruitment, management of the impact on type O blood supply, and other logistic challenges to enhance manufacturing efficiency. Setting up a program also requires close communication between the blood supplier and the transfusion service or first-responders to gain consensus on product specifications including acceptable titer levels, availability of both O-positive and O-negative red cells, the decision to leukoreduce and/or maintain acceptable platelet levels.
This session provides examples of how blood suppliers work with hospital transfusion services and first-responders and cooperate to set up civilian LTOWB programs. What decisions were made, why they were made, and the results of those decisions will be presented to help provide a framework for implementation to those wishing to embark on a LTOWB program.
At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:
Discuss special considerations in recruiting blood donors and managing the manufacturing of LTOWB
Describe how to efficiently manage inventory, ensure appropriate utilization of LTOWB, and reduce wastage
Create a list of items that should be discussed between a transfusion service and blood collector in setting up a LTOWB program and discuss any special considerations for first responder programs