Freeze Drying Plasma.

According to an article posted by NCBI; When fresh frozen plasma is not readily available, dried plasma can be used for early plasma transfusion in hemorrhagic shock resuscitation. Spray-drying or freeze-drying liquid or thawed plasma is used to create it. It has a long shelf life, may be kept at room temperature, and is easy to transport, reconstitute, and administer. It was widely used during WWII, but it was phased out because of the risk of infectious disease transmission. Technology has changed quite a bit since then, eliminating that concern for the most part. The German and French lyophilized plasma experiences are the most extensive, indicating efficacy and safety.

size0-fullAccording to recent study, dried plasma has various beneficial effects in the treatment of shock in large animal models. However, no FDA-approved product is currently available in the United States.

Hemorrhage remains the leading cause of preventable death in trauma patients. Making this technology extremely beneficial to active war zones and the like. Not needing to have refrigerated spaces for the plasma will help save lives across the board. This could also be used in hospitals across the world where there is limited freezer space and access to plasma donation centers. Allowing for easier transport, no need for frozen carriers or refrigeration trucks and airplanes makes shipments easier to get to where they need to go.

The history of dried plasma dates back as early as 1936 by Doctor John Elliot. He devised a machine that would extract plasma from red blood cells and store it in a vacuum bottle. Later, Dr Max Strumia experimented with dried plasma and invented a device for freeze-drying the plasma into a sterile powder. Shortly after this was discovered the US army and navy requested more testing of hundreds of units of dried plasma for trauma victims. In 1941, freeze-dried, or lyophilized, plasma was approved for use by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association. The lyophilized plasma use started in the WWII where millions of units were produced by the American Red Cross and then administered by the US and the British armies. It saved many lives.

Fast forward a few years, freeze-dried plasma was banned due to possible risk of disease transmission. But it was reintroduced in 1990 and is now used around the globe mainly in military bases and areas of combat where trauma is involved.

And according to the NCBI “The solution is to have a product that is readily available, easy to store and transport, and can be administered quickly and safely. Dried plasma provides all these advantages. It can be stored up to 2 years at room temperature and reconstituted within minutes. It’s been shown to be safe and efficacious clinically and in animal models with similar coagulation properties to FFP.”

It is clear there is a great benefit to freeze-dried plasma, and with the right technology like a parker freeze dryer, there can be large volumes available for administration in the future. 

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