Until now, blood has not been readily available during LifeFlight’s emergency transports. The air ambulance, which takes care of people in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, has started to carry two units of O negative blood during all flights, which is the blood type considered as universal.
To make sure the crews have the freshest blood available, the units will be regularly rotated and unused blood will be given back to the regular blood supply at hospitals.
Colin Flynn, Senior Manager of EHS Life Flight, told CBC Canada: "We would have to weigh out what is most important for the patient, if it was speed of transport to the trauma team in Halifax. Our doctors would help us make those decisions to determine if we should stop and pick up blood products."
"We do transport the sickest of the sick in the province because we transport critically ill patients every day. The patients sometimes deteriorate. Sometimes there's unpredicted issues and the ability of our crew to react quickly to changing conditions within our patient population will definitely improve outcomes."