The ASBP Great Lakes Blood Donor Center (BDC), located at Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Illinois, was recently granted an FDA license to produce and distribute pre-pooled cryoprecipitate, becoming the first in the DoD capable of producing this vital blood product. Cryoprecipitate, or “cryo” for short, is a concentrated dose of clotting factors made from blood plasma. One reason cryo is important is because it used to manage bleeding in individuals whose blood does not clot correctly. While other sites produce single donor Cryoprecipitated AHF (antihaemophilic factor), only ASBP Great Lakes is licensed to produce Pre-Storage Pooled Cryoprecipitated AHF. This product is made by mixing five single donor cryoprecipitate AHF products into a larger dose before it is placed into frozen storage.
Using pre-pooled cryo has multiple advantages. The forward deployed medic can more quickly transfuse pre-pooled cryo. This is because they will no longer be required to thaw and pool 5 or more sperate units of cryo before transfusion. They can instead use the pre-pooled cryo produced at ASBP Great Lakes to have a larger dose available faster. Every minute counts during a medical emergency, and this time saved can lead to better patient outcomes and ultimately more lives saved. The DoD producing its own pre-pooled cryo can also offer advantages in terms of standardization, product availability, inventory management, and overall transfusion safety.
As a center within the ASBP – the official blood program of the DoD – the Great Lakes BDC has a multifaceted mission of providing quality blood products for service members, their families, and veterans. Adding pre-pooled cryo to that mission further increases the responsibilities of the center.
“Our mission is to supply blood products to our troops down range, and then supporting the transfusion services of the Department of Defense,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Collins, Department Head, Great Lakes BDC.
“Being able to supply concentrated clotting factors [here at home or in] austere environments in a forward deployed situation where they have these requirements [clotting factor needs] and they see those traumas, that’s where the service members benefit,” Collins added.
Cryo contains concentrated clotting factors made from plasma. This process of separation happens when plasma is removed from a whole blood donation, separated, frozen, then just barely thawed at a controlled temperature. This results in the creation of a precipitate in the thawed plasma.
“The liquid remaining is the plasma product which is used to make noninjectable product. The ‘left over’ is that concentrated cryoprecipitate, and then that’s what we actually freeze again,” said Collins.
The precipitate remaining in the bag is made of clotting factors that are separated from the plasma, creating a cryo-poor plasma product. Precipitate remaining in the bag is a concentrated mix of clotting factors called cryoprecipitate, and that is what is needed to cause blood to clot even in the most difficult situations. This process combines the precipitate into pools from five individual units of cryo, and then it is frozen for storage up to one year.
External and internal injuries activate the clotting system in our blood, and this is tightly controlled to both stop bleeding around an injury but also not allow clotting to spread to other places. When patients are severely injured or bleeding a lot, their clotting factors can become depleted.
Cryo replaces some of the required clotting factors and helps the body return to normal hemodynamics (how your blood flows through your blood vessels).
There is a cost benefit to producing cryo in-house at the blood donor center, Collins added. Now, the DoD can get this lifesaving product from the ASBP Great Lakes BDC with no additional cost or go outside to civilian sources.
“It’s going to increase our work because we are going to be the sole supplier [of pre-pooled cryo] to the Department of Defense,” said Collins. “The increase is welcomed as it is our goal to keep the frontline strong.”
The only way to know your donation will definitely go to the military, directly supporting service members on the battlefield, is to donate with the ASBP. The program is tasked with the collection, processing, storage and transportation of blood and blood products to ill or injured service members, their families, retirees, and veterans worldwide.
Not all donations can be turned into cryo, but every donation is needed regardless for various other reasons. Interested donors can contact their local BDC and check if they are eligible to donate crucial blood products. Enhance readiness and enable the creation of cryo and other lifesaving blood products by scheduling a donation at www.militarydonor.com. You can also contact the Great Lakes BDC directly at (224)-610-2118 to learn about their next blood drive.
About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program is the official blood program of the United States military. Our mission is to provide quality blood products and support to military operations worldwide; from the battlefield to the local hospital, whenever and wherever needed. The ASBP collects, processes, stores, transports, and distributes blood products to service members, their families, retirees and veterans in peace and war. In an ASBP Enterprise view—Military Health Affairs, Defense Health Agency, Service Blood Programs and Combatant Commands—we operate under common goals, metrics, procedures, and work together to shape the future.
The ASBP is one of four organizations tasked with providing a safe blood supply to the Nation. Our program also works closely with our civilian counterparts in times of need to maximize the availability of this national treasure.
To find out more about the ASBP or schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.health.mil/militaryblood. To interact directly with ASBP staff members or get the latest news, follow us @militaryblood on Facebook and Twitter, and @usmilitaryblood on Instagram.
|GREAT LAKES, IL, US
This work, FDA Grants ASBP Great Lakes Donor Center License to Produce Pre-Pooled Cryo, by Darrin McDufford, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.