Premier Health’s CareFlight Helicopters to Carry Whole Blood

Dayton’s First, Fastest Medical Air Transport Prepared for Life-Saving Blood Transfusions

DAYTON, Ohio (February 14, 2022) – Premier Health’s CareFlight helicopters are now equipped to carry whole blood for emergent transfusion, the first and only air service in Ohio to do so. Life-saving blood transfusions can now be provided on scene to severely injured trauma patients, potentially improving outcomes.

“As an extension of Premier Health’s Level 1 Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital, CareFlight literally brings an essential part of the trauma center to the patient,” said Andrew Hawk, MD, medical director of CareFlight Air and Mobile Services. “Administering a whole blood transfusion to a scene trauma patient in shock further enhances our ability to provide the best and most time-efficient trauma care available today.”

To meet blood storage and temperature control requirements, specialized equipment designed for the transport environment has been added to each of CareFlight’s four Dauphin helicopters. Working closely with Miami Valley Hospital, the region’s most experienced Level 1 Trauma Center, CareFlight policies and protocols have been established to ensure the full scope of proper whole blood supply management.

“For the past 38 years, CareFlight Air and Mobile Services has provided exemplary life-saving care to the communities we serve,” said Candy Skidmore, vice president of emergency and trauma service lines, Premier Health. “Providing our medical transport teams this additional tool potentially strengthens the impact of our trauma services for severely injured patients.”

CareFlight Air and Mobile Services recently received its 10th consecutive three-year accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).

As Dayton’s first medical transport program, CareFlight has transported more than 70,000 patients since its start in 1983. CareFlight helicopters are the region’s fastest, traveling up to 180 mph, and serve a 150-mile radius, covering most of Ohio and parts of West Virginia, Michigan, Kentucky, and Indiana. CareFlight has the unique capability to transport two patients, plus the pilot and two certified flight nurses.

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