Senator Patrick M. Gallivan joined officials from Mercy Flight and ConnectLife to celebrate a new state law that will allow air ambulance services to carry their own blood products and transfuse injured or ill patients.
This change comes as a result of a bill co-sponsored by Senator Gallivan, Ranking Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Health, that was passed in December 2021 allowing air ambulance personnel greater opportunity to save lives. It is estimated that one-third of patients need blood during air ambulance transport, but until now were forced to wait until reaching a hospital to receive it.
“This update to our public health law was long overdue. Allowing medical flight crews and EMS providers to transport and administer blood is common sense, and could be the difference between life and death, especially for people living in rural areas far from a hospital,” said Senator Gallivan. “I congratulate Mercy Flight and ConnectLife for their partnership on this important initiative.”
Beginning this summer, Mercy Flight will begin to carry type O whole blood on all air ambulance flights. The blood, supplied by ConnectLife, will be used for patients who have suffered severe blood loss through trauma or illness and require aggressive fluid resuscitation. Specialized equipment will be added to the Mercy Flight helicopters and bases to meet blood storage and temperature requirements. Now more than ever it will be important for the community to donate with ConnectLife to ensure there is blood available for these emergency situations.