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Follow Navy Captain Fahie, program director, as he visits critical military blood program locations.

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Frozen Red Blood Cells

Frozen Red Blood Cells (FRBCs) are an FDA-licensed product which allow for cryopreservation of red blood cells for up to 10 years. FRBCs were first used by the military in a theater of war in 1966 in the Republic of South Vietnam. Current technology allows for frozen red cells to be thawed; the resultant product has and a 14-day shelf life . FRBCs are available for use in hospitals stateside, overseas and pre-positioned aboard US Navy ships. FRBCs have been shown equally effective as normal packed red blood cells (PRBCs) in their ability to deliver oxygen to tissues and organs. A noted advantage of frozen red cells over packed red cells is a significant reduction of white blood cells and other biologically active substances known to contribute to transfusion reactions. See below for further information and research on the use of frozen blood.

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White Paper

Frozen Red Blood Cells (PDF, 190kb)

Frozen Red Blood Cells (FRBC) have long been an FDA-licensed product manufactured by military donor centers for use in contingency operations. Traditionally employed in locations where it would be difficult to provide a large inventory of FDA-licensed liquid red cell units, frozen blood can be used by hospitals both stateside and overseas. Unfortunately, this resource has gone largely unused due to a variety of factors; primarily a lack of information about the product and its uses. [Read more...]

Journals

Disclaimer: The following journals require a paid subscription to the content provider. The appearance of these hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army of this Web site or the information, products or services contained therein.

Transfusion of Cryopreserved Packed Red Blood Cells Is Safe and Effective After Trauma: Prospective Randomized Trial
Annals of Surgery. 2015 Sept.; 262(3): 426-433.

Experiences with frozen blood products in the Netherlands military.
Transfus Apher Sci. 2006 Jun;34(3):289-98. Epub 2006 Jul 3.

Successful in vivo recovery and extended storage of additive solution (AS)-5 red blood cells after deglycerolization and resuspension in AS-3 for 15 days with an automated closed system.
Transfusion. 2007 Apr; 47(4):680-6.

Extended storage of AS-1 and AS-3 leukoreduced red blood cells for 15 days after deglycerolization and resuspension in AS-3 using an automated closed system.
Transfusion. 2004 Nov; 44(11):1656-62.

Cryopreserved deglycerolized blood is safe and achieves superior tissue oxygenation compared with refrigerated red blood cells
J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Feb;74(2):371-6
Fabricant L, Kiraly L, Wiles C, Differding J, Underwood S, Deloughery T, Schreiber M.