LifeSave to carry whole blood
Kansas-based air ambulance company LifeSave has announced that it will now carry blood on all flights
The move will make LifeSave the first air ambulance in the state to carry blood on its aircraft, and is expected to significantly improve survival chances for patients being transferred to hospital.
LifeSave indicated that its Emporia base will work with healthcare provider Newman Regional Health, as well as the American Red Cross to provide blood for its operations.
Speaking to EMS1, Dr James Foley, an Emergency Physician at Newman Regional Health said: “The idea of LifeSave starting this initiative to carry blood on board so that they are even more prepared for their critical transport mission impresses me, but also makes my life easier.” Foley continued: “In a selfish way, I am very excited to know that when there is a major trauma with massive blood loss, that there is someone who is going to get to the scene and already start resuscitative measures at a higher level than I would have even expected.”
He added: “There are a ton of requirements and logistics that have to go into something like that. That's why partnering with the Red Cross has been crucial. They have some of those logistics already in place and then also having the resources like having the Highway Patrol and other people collaborate with us.”
LifeSave 21 Flight Nurse Leann Briggs noted: “Uncontrolled bleeding is one of the number one causes of preventable death from trauma, [and] hemorrhage is responsible for nearly 40 per cent of trauma deaths.” She added that ‘of these deaths, approximately half occur during the prehospital period’.
The UK’s NHS also announced in December 2022 that it was trialling whole blood on emergency aircraft, in partnership with 10 air ambulance charities.