Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has partnered with two local agencies providing emergency medical services to help save more lives when time is of the essence.
In 2016, two local agencies became the first in the Houston area to carry blood products on board their emergency vehicles: Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS), serving an unincorporated area of northwest Harris County, and Harris County Emergency Services District 48 Fire-EMS (HCESD48), which serves the Katy area.
Studies have shown the early intervention of blood products to injured trauma or critically ill patients helps improve their survival chances. Utilizing technology and assistance from air-medical and military medical partners, this process was adopted for ground-based EMS.
The program began in summer 2016 with both agencies carrying A-negative low-titer liquid plasma and O-negative red blood cells, and continued in fall 2017 with the transition to whole blood administration for pre-hospital use in the field.
"This development allows the transfusion of a more complete blood product and is technically easier to administer," Marsha Bertholf, MD, The Blood Center's Associate Vice President of Medical Services, said.
Use of whole blood is based on research and techniques successfully deployed by U.S. military agencies. Since the program began in late September, both CCEMS and HCESD48 have successfully administered whole blood to patients on the ground, supporting the likelihood of better outcomes for these patients.
The Blood Center is proud to partner with CCEMS and HCESD48 to fulfill its mission of saving more lives. Learn more about the program in EMS World magazine.