Whole blood, up until recently, was a rarely used product in modern blood banks. The product is just a unit of blood collected from a donor without further manipulation to remove plasma or platelets.
In military trauma settings, surgeons have for decades explored the use of “fresh whole blood” collected from soldiers and transfused immediately to exsanguinating wounded but fellow soldiers. Access to that product is far more difficult in the civilian sector, so we have begun to re-introduce the use of cold-stored, low-titer, group O whole blood (LTOWB) in trauma-related massive transfusion situations. For more on LTOWB, see episodes 040CE and 073 of the Blood Bank Guy Essentials Podcast.
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