The Whole Blood Initiative

The Heroes in Arms Program supports the use of specially screened O+ whole blood at the scene of a trauma events. Through combat experience, researchers discovered that the use of whole blood dramatically increased the life expectancy of patients needing blood transfusions. Early intervention of transfusions with non-diluted whole blood shows a reduction in death from trauma by 25%. Dr. Don Jenkins, the Associate Director for the Military Health Institute (MHI), revolutionized the use of prehospital whole blood in civilian settings. The Heroes in Arms Program partners with South Texas Blood and Tissue Center to collect O+ whole blood for use during trauma events. Currently, the program is available in 22 counties, 50 hospitals, and 70 EMS agencies. MHI actively supports the expansion of the whole blood initiative.

The South Texas Integrated Trauma System

The South Texas Integrated Trauma System covers 22 counties or 26,000 square miles. This system integrates trauma level efforts, especially during large traumatic events in which a large response is necessary. The response to any large event is supplemented by 5 rotary wing HEMS organizations, with 18 helicopter bases and 2 level 1 trauma centers. These combined efforts ensures the most timely and effective response to major events. The MHI recognizes the value of the integrated San Antonio trauma system for our region and our nation’s military medical readiness, which is why it served as a strong advocate with the City Council and Bexar County Commissioners Court to support and pass resolutions recognizing the existing trauma partnership between Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) and University Health. For more details visit COSA Signed Resolution and Bexar County – Proposed Resolution.

City, State, and Federal Advocacy

The Military Health Institute advocates for issues and research in military health at the city, state, and federal levels. The MHI Director and Deputy Director travel to Austin and Washington D.C. to meet with legislative officials annually and work with the Government Relations team to ensure military health is included as a priority to the university. Most recently, MHI has advocated for state funding for the Trauma Research and Combat Casualty Care Collaborative (TRC4) and federal funding for the Human Optimization Partnership.