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The first annual National Whole Blood Summit was held in San Antonio, TX, on May 22, 2019. 

Organized by the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), the conference brought together leaders from around the country, spanning the disciplines of trauma surgery, military medicine, emergency medical services, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, hematology, blood bank services, nursing, and hospital administration, to discuss the state of the science and practice involving the use of whole blood. In total, more than 200 individuals attended.

Michelle Price, PhD, Deputy Director of the National Trauma Institute (NTI), presented a lecture on NTI’s latest efforts to build a National Trauma Research Repository (NTRR), focusing on the topic of standardizing core data collection to enhance the value generated by trauma research efforts. Dr. Price asked audience members to submit ideas for common data elements that will be used to build a whole blood module in the NTRR. Her talk was just one of many that sought to inform and coordinate future research efforts investigating whole blood.

In addition to STRAC, sponsors of the conference included UT Health San Antonio, the National Trauma Institute, University Health System, Blood Centers of America, San Antonio Medical Foundation, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and Union Pacific. 

Learn more about whole blood use in South Texas—according to an article published in the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Magazine, “San Antonio is the only city in the nation with a broad network to transport whole blood to trauma sites. The move to whole blood transfusions has transformed emergency response, with a 25 percent reduction in deaths due to hemorrhage in the region between January 2018 and January 2019.”