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In a First, MDA Will Now Provide Whole Blood Units to IDF

Posted By : Devick Sellam August 8, 2018

For the first time in Israel, Magen David Adom will provide whole blood units to the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps to treat injured soldiers in the field. The unprecedented decision will improve the chances of saving soldiers’ lives in the field who need immediate blood transfusions.

Blood units are divided into three different groups: platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells. Typically, when a solider needs a blood transfusion in the field, three different bags must be used for each of those components, all under the watchful eye of MDA and the IDF Medical Corps.

However, recent studies have shown that whole blood doses of Type O blood, with low antibody rates, are more effective in treating the wounded on the battlefield. In addition, the need to transport only one blood bag for each dose allows the operational medical units to carry more blood with less resources and save more soldiers’ lives.

The IDF’s decision comes from studying the United States’ military experiences in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where research indicated that providing whole blood to soldiers was a safe and easy-to-implement approach for medical rescue teams.

“The connection between the blood services of MDA and the IDF is unique. The fact that about a quarter of the blood donations in Israel are donated by IDF soldiers should not be taken for granted, especially in view of the many difficult tasks the IDF has to cope with,” says MDA Blood Services Director Professor Eilat Shinar. “I am proud that we, at the MDA Blood Services, are attentive to the requirements of the IDF, and are able to make every effort to enable the Medical Corps to stand in the front line and to provide advanced, modern and updated treatment for the injured.”

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