To compare the efficacy of low-volume resuscitation with bovine polymerized hemoglobin (HBOC-201) versus hetastarch (HEX) in an intermediate severity combat-relevant hemorrhagic shock swine model with a simulated delay to hospital care. Twenty-four anesthetized pigs were hemorrhaged 55% estimated blood volume in conjunction with a 5-min rectus abdominus crush. At 20 min, pigs were resuscitated with 10 mL/kg of HBOC-201 or HEX or nothing (NON); resuscitated pigs received additional infusions (5 mL/kg) at 30, 60, 120, or 180 min if hypotension or tachycardia persisted. Pigs were monitored for a 4-h "prehospital" period. At 4-h, hospital arrival was simulated: surgical sites were repaired, blood, or saline provided, and pigs were recovered from anesthesia. Pigs were monitored for 72 h and then killed for histological evaluation. One hundred percent (8/8) of HBOC-201-, 75% (6/8) of HEX-, and 25% (2/8) of NON-resuscitated pigs survived to 72 h (P = 0.007 overall, HBOC vs. HEX P > 0.05). Mean arterial pressure and mean pulmonary arterial pressure were highest in the HBOC-201 group (P < 0.001), and HR was lowest (P < 0.001). HBOC-201- and HEX-resuscitated pigs had comparable cardiac index and prehospital fluid requirements. HBOC-201 pigs had higher transcutaneous tissue oxygen tension, P < 0.001) and lower urine output (P < 0.001). At simulated hospital arrival, no HBOC-201 pigs required additional fluids or blood transfusion. In contrast, 100% of HEX pigs required blood transfusions (P < 0.01). In this swine model of controlled hemorrhage with low-volume resuscitation and delayed definitive care, HBOC-201 pigs had improved hemodynamics, transcutaneous tissue oxygen tension, and transfusion avoidance compared with HEX. Copyright © 2006 by the Shock Society.