YOUR HEALTH: Saving a cowboy; Treating traumas with whole blood

Doctors are taking a procedure that was used in the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan to save lives here at home.
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 4:18 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:16 AM CST
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DALLAS, Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) – This year, more than 37 million people will be rushed to the E.R. suffering from trauma – the most common reason is falls followed by car accidents and violence-related injures such as gunshot wounds, stabbings, and assaults. Now, doctors are taking a procedure that was used in the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan to save lives here at home.

Case Jones is up at dawn working the ranch, riding horses, wrangling cattle, and hog hunting.

“We had our thermal scopes, and we were using them to shoot feral hogs,” Case explains.

But in the dark of night, his friend accidently shot him.

Case adds, “I started running to try to get behind a tree and he still ended up shooting me.”

Trauma surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Health – Temple, Dr. Scott Sagraves, MD, emphasizes, “His liver was almost split in half by the bullet.”

Dr. Sagraves has 20 years of dealing with life and death injuries, but recently, how he’s treated them has changed.

“We now have whole blood for our injured patients,” Dr. Sagraves explains.

Traditionally, trauma patients receive donated blood that is broken down into red blood cells or platelets or plasma. But trauma patients who have lost a lot of blood need it all, and that’s called whole blood. Studies show it improves coagulation, decreases the risk of infections and blood related diseases. After three weeks in the hospital, and some help from his wife Kristen, Case is slowly getting back up to speed and doing what he was born to do.

“With God’s grace, I’m able to do what I’ve always done and had a full recovery,” Case expresses.

Most whole blood donors are type O, which is a universal donor and can be used on any patient, no matter their blood type. Whole blood units go through a 48-hour testing period and can be refrigerated up to 21 days. The shelf life for traditional donated blood is 42 days.

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