Ranger Whole Blood Program Wins an Army’s Greatest Innovation Award

FT Benning, GA – The 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger O Low Titer (ROLO) Whole Blood Program was recognized by the Army Materiel Command as the individual military winner of the annual Army’s Greatest Innovation Award at the Association of the United States Army Global Warfare Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama on Mar. 14.

The ROLO Whole Blood Program was developed in concert with international multidiscipline civilian and military providers of the Trauma Hemostasis and Oxygenation Research (THOR) network to bring emergency blood transfusion from the hospital environment to the battlefield. Thanks in large part to Lt. Col. Andre Cap, Chief of Blood Research at the Army Institute of Surgical Research and Lt. Col. Jason Corley, Deputy Director of the Army Blood Program, the ROLO Whole Blood Program went from concept to implementation at the unit-level in only 18 months.

The program identifies all blood group O members of the unit and then tests them to determine possible donors to be used at the point of injury (POI). Previous research and publications demonstrate that whole blood with low anti-A and anti-B IgM titers presents a low/negligible risk of a catastrophic acute hemolytic transfusion reaction when given to individuals that are not of the same blood group.

Following the example of blood programs from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, the 75th Ranger Regiment Medical Detachment adopted group O low titer as IgM titers less than 1:256. The use of group O low titer donors eliminates testing steps and the possibility of incorrectly matching group-specific donors and recipients in the emergency blood transfusion process.

“Recognition at the Army-level of the ROLO Whole Blood Program would not be possible without the dedicated Army Medical Department team committed to providing Soldiers better trauma casualty care on the battlefield,” said Lt. Col. Ethan Miles, 75th Ranger Regiment surgeon.

“The Rangers were chartered by Gen. Creighton Abrams to be “elite, light, and the most proficient infantry in the world”‘; our team was committed to finding a battlefield blood transfusion option that benefits all of the Nation’s warfighters,” Miles stated.

The Army’s Greatest Innovation Award Program revives the Army’s Greatest Invention and Soldier’s Greatest Invention award programs that became non-operational after 2012. Army Materiel Command announced reestablishment of the Army’s Greatest Innovation Award Program in 2016 with an expanded focus in technologies, processes, and programs that ensure our Soldiers are the best manned, trained, and equipped.

There are three award categories; Individual-Military, Individual-Civilian, and Group. The program operates on a fiscal year basis with nominations accepted beginning the prior fiscal year starting in October. For additional information, please visit the program homepage at http://www.amc.army.mil/amc/agiap.html.

The MG Harold J. Greene Award for Innovation award was commemorated in 2016 by then-Commanding General Dennis L. Via in honor of the late MG Harold J. Greene. MG Greene was a highly regarded leader in the Army’s Science and Technology community prior to being killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2014.

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