FDA approves freeze-dried blood plasma for troops in combat

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday approved freeze-dried blood plasma for use to treat combat injuries from U.S. troops, after a dispute over whether access would be allowed.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) last year tried to go around the FDA by granting the Department of Defense the ability to allow the freeze-dried plasma use.

{mosads}Eventually, an agreement was reached to prevent that more drastic measure, and the FDA is now approving the use of the freeze-dried plasma from a French company, even though it is not approved for wider use in the United States.

“Through our collaborative program with the [Department of Defense], they’ve made clear the importance of access to freeze-dried plasma in initial efforts to control hemorrhage from battlefield trauma,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “Granting this authorization will support access to this important product in the event it’s needed. The FDA remains deeply committed to implementing an enduring pathway to ensure that these potentially life-saving medical products are made available in the most expeditious, safe and effective manner possible.”

Plasma is used to help clot blood and stop bleeding, but it generally needs to be refrigerated. The freeze-dried plasma does not need to be refrigerated or go through a long thawing process the way normal frozen plasma, the FDA said, “thus enabling the rapid availability of plasma for use at the point of injury.”

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