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Addition of Apheresis Platelet Collection Capability (2004)

Apheresis platelets are blood products that are collected by an automated centrifuge which processes only the platelet component and returns the remaining blood components back to the blood donor. Unlike whole blood donors, the platelet donor may donate every two weeks versus every 8 weeks. These products are superior to whole blood derived products since the number of potential exposures is reduced from six to one for the patient. This concept was fielded in Nov. 2004 to meet the theater requirement for platelet products and reduce the number of Fresh Whole Blood drives. This capability was found to be so successful in meeting the platelet requirements that this technology was added to the Blood Support Detachment and the Combat Support Hospital Laboratories.

Theater Surgeons have commented that this innovation was one of the most significant new capabilities added to the theater in saving lives. Over 3,700 procedures have been collected