Image: Mayo One helicopter over Mayo Clinic Hospital - Rochester, Saint Marys Campus Hospital
Not-for-profit US healthcare provider Mayo Clinic has released a video on the case of a Minnesota mother whose life was saved because the Mayo One medical helicopter that came to take her to the hospital was stocked with packed red blood cells and plasma.
Now, both mother and baby are doing well, reports former TV news anchor Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network. But a year ago, complications during her daugher’s birth nearly cost Amber Manning her life. “Ironically,” quips Douda, “Amber is a Mayo Clinic human resources employee.”
Amber explained: “Mia’s vitals kept dropping, so they decided to do an emergency C-section. From there, things took a turn for the worse.” Her husband, Shawn, was asked to give his consent for Amber to have an emergency hysterectomy in an attempt to ‘stop the bleeding’ and save her life.
Douda commented: “Amber was bleeding so badly that even the 15-muinte flight from the small regional hospital would have been too far without the blood products onboard [Mayo’s helicopter].” Flight paramedic Tricia Riggot, who was part of the medical crew that rushed to transport Amber to a trauma centre, recalls thinking ‘we need to get as much blood in her as we can, immediately’.
Mayo Clinic began carrying packed red blood cells on its helicopters in 1998. Dr Scott Zietlow, medical director for the air service, Mayo One, commented: “It’s the right thing to do for our patient population, especially when there’s longer transport times. It is a commitment, both on resources, personnel, training, education, safety – there are many factors that go into this.”
Thawed plasma was added to the menu in 2009. Since then, over 1,000 patients have benefitted from pre-hospital administration of thawed plasma, said Dr Donal Jenkins, trauma director at Mayo’s St Mary’s Hospital. The majority of these have been non-trauma patients, he added.
Once in the hospital, Amber also needed 30 units of red blood cells, 15 units of plasma, seven units of platelets, 40 units of cryoprecipitates and coagulating agents to control her bleeding. By the point when surgeons had stopped her haemorrhaging, her total body blood volume had been replaced four times.
A year on, Mia is playing and learning to walk. Proud mother Amber said: “She’s a beautiful baby girl. I’m just really glad I’m here to enjoy the time with her.”