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Air Idaho Rescue now carrying whole blood on every flight

Whole blood is especially valuable in rural areas with limited access to donated blood. | Air Idaho Rescue
IDAHO FALLS – Air Idaho Rescue now carries and administers whole blood on every air medical transport.
According to a news release from Air Idaho Rescue, the Idaho Falls bases are now carrying whole blood, similar to the Driggs and Salmon bases.
“Now the entire Air Idaho Rescue fleet can utilize this improved resource,” said Teather Campbell, clinical director with Air Methods.” “Having whole blood aboard their helicopter and fixed-wing plane allows their industry-leading trauma clinicians to provide additional lifesaving care when every minute counts.”
RELATED | I flew with Air Idaho Rescue for a day. Here’s what I learned.
The crews previously carried packed red blood cells and plasma and are excited to carry whole blood, offering superior outcomes for patients suffering from trauma or hemorrhagic shock.

Air Idaho Rescue
According to the release, whole blood is especially valuable in rural areas with limited access to donated blood.
Since Air Idaho Rescue carries its own blood supply, its clinicians can administer it in flight while preserving hospital stock.
“Whole blood contains red blood cells, plasma and platelets. When doing blood resuscitation, you need all three components to help replace what was lost and with coagulation (blood clotting),” said Campbell. “So instead of just giving packed red blood cells, we are giving everything needed to replace blood loss and clotting factors to help stop bleeding.”
A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that whole blood transfusions improve the 30-day survival rate of patients suffering from hemorrhagic shock by 60 percent.
“The earlier patients receive whole blood, the better their outcomes, showing the significance of pre-hospital transfusion,” states the release.
Moderately to severely injured patients, including those with head injuries, particularly benefit from whole blood transfusions.
“The people of Idaho enjoy the beautiful landscape and backcountry activities this state has to offer, but it means they need access to critical lifesaving interventions when they face medical emergencies,” said Jill Egan, account executive with Air Methods. “Between the many outdoor activities and the rural terrain in the state, whole blood is ideal for the type of injuries we see.”
All Air Idaho Rescue clinicians have at least three years of experience in an emergency or intensive care setting before joining a flight crew.
They receive ongoing advanced training, and every nurse and paramedic has access to Air Methods Ascend, an in-person and online training program that allows clinicians to perform at the top of their licensure. Air Methods Ascend is available to medical personnel across the country.
“Air Methods is committed to providing air medical services to all members of the communities it serves and is in-network with most major health insurance providers across the country,” states the release. “Their patient advocacy program works with all patients, regardless of insurance, to ensure affordability while making pre-paid air medical membership unnecessary.”
The post Air Idaho Rescue now carrying whole blood on every flight appeared first on East Idaho News.

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