'Brothers In Arms' program gives crews new tool to fight blood loss

A new program could help transform care for civilian trauma victims.

A new program could help transform care for civilian trauma victims.

San Antonio is becoming one of the first communities in the country to transfer military battlefield research to civilian use.

The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center on Friday launched the "Brothers In Arms" program.

The program will give medical helicopter crews a new tool to fight blood loss and save the lives of critically injured patients by providing them with whole blood for pre-hospital transfusions.

"What the military has shown is that before they started transfusing whole blood, the chance of survival was as low as 20 or 30 percent. Once they started transfusing whole blood, it raised it to 60 percent," said South Texas Blood And Tissue Center CEO Elizabeth Waltman.

Medical helicopters in South Texas will start carrying whole blood on helicopters as early as Monday.

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