Senator Gallivan Says New Law Allows Air Ambulance Crews to Administer Blood Transfusions

Change in Public Health Law Will Help Save Lives

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) says a bill (S.4085A) to allow air ambulance services to carry their own blood products and transfuse injured or ill patients has been signed into law.  New York was the only state that does not allow air ambulance personnel to transfuse blood.

Senator Gallivan co-sponsored the bill, which passed unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly earlier this year.

“This is a common sense update to our public health law, which is long overdue,” Senator Gallivan said. “Allowing medical flight crews and EMS providers to transport and administer blood in an emergency could be the difference between life and death, especially for people living in rural areas far from a hospital.  I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for supporting it and the governor for signing it into law.”

Under the existing regulations, air ambulance services were not allowed to store, transport or administer blood products without written agreements with each hospital blood bank, which can be impractical.  Moreover, the regulation only allows for transfusion during transport between hospitals. 

Amending the state’s public health law will give air ambulance personnel greater opportunity to save the lives of New York residents.

The new law takes effect immediately.