Air ambulances are called to transport patients when every minute matters. As Anthony Baca of PHI Air Medical explains, “Nearly 50 percent of trauma deaths occur in the first hour after injury.”
He went on to explain that a major challenge to successful trauma resuscitation revolves around the ability to get blood products to the patient quickly. That is now possible, thanks to a new partnership with The Medical Center of Plano, the only Level II Trauma Center in Collin County.
The Medical Center of Plano supplies PHI with plasma and blood products for placement on four of its North Texas Helicopters.
“Before our partnership, flight paramedics and nurses would administer IV fluids, but the necessary blood transfusions would not happen until the patient arrived at the hospital,” said Amy Atnip, director of Trauma Services for The Medical Center of Plano.
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“Today, patients are able to receive these blood products in route to the hospital, which helps jump-start the treatment of critically injured patients before they arrive at the hospital, resulting in a better chance at survival.”
Since launching this program three months ago, PHI has administered plasma and blood in-flight on 17 critically ill patients.
“As a trauma center we receive a large number of critically ill patients who are transported from rural areas,” said Charles Gressle, chief executive officer (CEO) of The Medical Center of Plano. “This unique partnership enables us to significantly improve survival rates for severely injured patients coming from outlying regions. We are excited to be the first hospital in North Texas to implement this life-saving process in partnership with PHI Air Medical.”