FDA Approved Use of Freeze-Dried Blood Plasma for U.S. Troops

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FDA approved freeze-dried plasma can save lives of several individuals in war zones, where regular injuries are common.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved freeze-dried blood plasma to treat injuries from U.S. troops on July 10, 2018. Plasma is the blood component, which functions for blood clotting leading to stop the bleeding. It offers several advantages such as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and can delivered more quickly, as no time is wasted in thawing out as with regular frozen blood plasma.

“Through our collaborative program with the [Department of Defense], they’ve made clear the importance of access to freeze-dried plasma in initial efforts to control hemorrhage from battlefield trauma,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “Granting this authorization will support access to this important product in the event it’s needed. The FDA remains deeply committed to implementing an enduring pathway to ensure that these potentially life-saving medical products are made available in the most expeditious, safe and effective manner possible.”

Whether or not the freeze-dried plasma — which is manufactured by a company in France — would get approved was mired in some controversy. In 2017, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) attempted to circumvent the FDA by giving the Department of Defense the ability to allow its use without going through the regulatory authority. Nonetheless, the FDA ultimately approved the technology, although it has yet to do so for wider use among civilians.

Furthermore, various smart technologies such as a new type of polystyrene and rubber wound dressing was developed by the U.S. Army to stop extreme bleeding, which features amazing levels of absorbency up to 800%  of the material’s weight in liquid. Moreover, the U.S. researchers recently announced independently developed synthetic blood technologies, which could buy trauma patients valuable extra hours targeting military audience for this technology.

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