The ability to administer whole blood dramatically improves patient outcomes. Photo: Wyoming Life Flight

Air Methods has announced that two more units in its HEMS system have been cleared to carry and administer whole blood on their aircraft. Native Air, which serves communities in New Mexico’s White Sands area, and Wyoming Life Flight, which covers the entire state, will now carry whole blood on every flight.

While they both previously carried red blood cells and plasma, the units are the first community-based HEMS providers to have whole blood clearance.

Every unit of whole blood provides red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and clotting factors for superior outcomes for patients suffering from trauma or hemorrhagic shock. It delivers oxygen around the body more effectively than separate blood products. It is particularly valuable in rural areas where there may be limited access to donated blood. Since the units carry their own blood supply, clinicians can administer it in-flight while preserving the receiving hospital’s stock.

“Carrying whole blood means the people of the White Sands area have access to a critical lifesaving intervention,” said Zach McGinnis, Area Manager with Air Methods, “With the outdoor activity, harsh environs, and road conditions in this area, whole blood is ideal for the type of injuries we see.”

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