RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — All of the U.S. military’s special operations fighters now being sent to war zones have freeze-dried blood plasma, a crucial addition to first-aid kits that can prevent badly wounded troops from bleeding to death on the battlefield.
The Marines Corps’ special ops command says all its units began carrying freeze-dried plasma into the field last month. The plasma helps clot blood and can prevent badly wounded troops from bleeding to death on the battlefield.
U.S. special ops units have received about 1,000 kits of the plasma from the French military over the past five years. The U.S. Special Operations Command said it’s been used at least 24 times, with 15 patients surviving to reach a hospital.
Now Congress is deciding how to speed up approval for an American-made replacement that could someday also be used in civilian medicine.
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This story has been corrected to show that all Marine Corps special operations units began carrying plasma into field in October.