First Aid/field transfusion kit



I am writing a scene in which the main character has to perform a field blood transfusion to another character, that got shot and lost a lot of blood.
I know that there are field transfusion kits out there, but would it be possible for the main character to improvise a makeshift kit and directly transfer his own blood (he is 0-) to the other person? There are medical tools available around (syringes, band aids...), just not the whole kit. I would like the main character to build something that could be used as a kit using common materials or parts of other objects...

Thank you for your help!

Hello Giulia,

Yes, it would be possible. You would need a couple 500ml saline bags, IV tubing and a couple needles. I would advise a small amount of heparin in the collection bag as well so the blood didn't clot before it was donated.

One bag of saline would be emptied, attached to IV tubing and an IV placed in the donor's arm. The bag should have a small amount of heparin injected into the bag and let the blood flow. As the bag fills the blood should be gently agitated so the heparin can mix with all the blood. When done the blood is ready for transfusion.

Even if blood types are compatible from an ABO/Rh standpoint there are many, many other compatibility issues that could exist. Even in combat this is an issue where the risk of a life threatening hemolytic reaction could occur but the possibility of saving a soldier's life out-weights that possibility, though not by much.

Good luck with your story.


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Marcus LaBarbera


I am available to answer most questions related to: first aid, pre- hospital medicine, EMT and Paramedic questions, medical transport, critical care transport, ICU/CCU care, sedation, and medicine in general.


I have worked as a NYS Paramedic since 1993 for both community based ambulance companies and large commercial agencies. I Have experience as bike team commander, and shift supervisor for a commercial ambulance. As a member of the Disaster team I was deployed to Louisiana for 20 days following hurricane Katrina. I worked along side the county Haz-Mat team as a "Tox-Medic" with advanced training in treating injuries from chemical agents. Besides my experience on the on the ambulance I have worked in a number of hospital based offices including dialysis and a sleep lab.

I started my EMS career as a NYS CFR (Certified First Responder)in 1989, an EMT in 1991, a Paramedic since 1993, and a CCU transport paramedic since 2005. I currently hold certification as a: NYS Paramedic, Critical Care Transport Paramedic, ACLS/CPR/PALS certified. Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support certified (AHLS). In the past I have taught CPR and ACLS to my coworkers and the local community.

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