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RCEMS Pre-Hospital Blood Program

Welcome to Robertson County EMS: Advancing Emergency Care through  Pre-Hospital Blood Administration

RCEMS Is expecting to start carrying blood on March 13, 2024

At Robertson County EMS, we are dedicated to advancing pre-hospital emergency medical care by embracing innovative solutions. We are excited to introduce a groundbreaking initiative: the integration of whole blood administration into our field operations, not only for trauma cases but also for diverse medical emergencies.

A logo with the letters "KBTX" and the number "3" featuring a star and red and blue colors.
See our KBTX article here

 

Empowering Emergency Response with Whole Blood Administration

Recognizing the pivotal role of whole blood in addressing hemorrhage in trauma cases and various medical emergencies, we have proactively incorporated the administration of whole blood into our emergency response protocols. Our preparedness includes the availability and utilization of whole blood, allowing us to respond promptly to a wide range of critical scenarios.

Illustration of paramedics with a patient on a stretcher by an ambulance.

“What Is Whole Blood? - Dr. Jenkins.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 June 2023, www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0-DuRapugM&t=8s.

 

The Versatility of Whole Blood Administration in Critical Situations

From trauma-related hemorrhage to severe medical conditions like gastrointestinal bleeding, ruptured aneurysms, or complications during childbirth, our capability to administer whole blood at the scene ensures a rapid and tailored response to diverse critical situations. Whether stabilizing trauma victims or providing immediate support in complex medical emergencies, our approach to whole blood administration is comprehensive and adaptable.

The Benefits of  Pre-Hospital Whole Blood Administration:

Tailored and Timely Response: Our ability to administer whole blood enables us to adapt swiftly to diverse medical emergencies, providing tailored treatment to each patient's specific condition. Rapid whole blood administration significantly impacts patient outcomes before reaching definitive care facilities. Empowering Our EMS Team: Rigorous training and adherence to protocols empower our highly skilled medical professionals to administer whole blood efficiently and safely in various medical emergencies, ensuring comprehensive care across critical scenarios. Collaborative Approach: Collaborating with local healthcare institutions optimizes whole blood administration, ensuring efficient utilization to benefit patients across a wide range of medical emergencies.

Join Us in Making a Difference with Whole Blood

A gloved hand holding a blood bag inside an ambulance, with medical staff and equipment in the background.

Join us in this transformative journey toward elevating pre-hospital emergency care through whole blood administration. Your contribution doesn’t end here. Consider making a difference by donating whole blood. Your donation could be the lifeline for someone in need. Every whole blood donation matters and directly impacts our ability to provide immediate and effective care to those facing critical situations.

Experience the transformative impact of Robertson County EMS – where whole blood solutions meet compassionate care in addressing a multitude of critical medical situations. Your support, through donation or otherwise, helps us continue to save lives in diverse medical emergencies.

“Thank You Donors.” YouTube, YouTube, 30 Jan. 2023, www.youtube.com/watch?v=TevQyp4TSn8&t=49s.

FAQ

What is Cold stored whole Blood? 

Cold Stored Whole Blood is FDA licensed and AABB approved cold-stored O+ whole blood with a low antibody titer. This unique blood product is specially crafted for administration in emergency release situations, stepping in when other blood products are unavailable or when the patient's blood type remains unknown.

Each unit of  whole blood undergoes rigorous testing, just like any other blood product. What sets it apart is its low antibody titer and cold storage, ensuring its readiness for critical situations. A preservative is skillfully added to maintain the integrity of the unit, preserving the red cells, plasma, platelets, and white cells from the donor – mirroring the composition as it circulated in their veins.

In the realm of emergency medical care, our low anti-body titer cold-stored O+ whole blood stands out as a beacon of reliability, offering a holistic solution when traditional options may be limited. Experience the uniqueness of this innovative blood product, meticulously designed to make a difference in critical scenarios where swift and effective intervention is paramount.

Why do we need blood? 

Examining patient outcomes has highlighted that deferring the initial transfusion until the patient arrives at the hospital is linked to a notably high mortality rate.. On the contrary, the utilization of cold-stored whole blood emerges as a viable alternative, offering a safe and effective approach to concurrently provide oxygen-carrying capacity and restore coagulation.

How is the blood stored and carried? 

Cold blood at Robertson County EMS is stored with meticulous care. The EMS supervisor utilizes a specially approved cooler designed to maintain the blood's low temperature without requiring power. This dedicated cooler is changed daily, ensuring that the blood remains consistently at safe storage temperatures. To further enhance monitoring, electronic temperature monitors are in place to send alerts if the blood approaches temperatures outside the safe range.

Additionally, an extra layer of security is provided through a non-electronic indicator on the blood itself. This indicator is designed to activate if the blood has been exposed to temperatures beyond the designated safe range. These comprehensive measures guarantee the integrity and safety of the cold-stored blood, aligning with the highest standards of storage and monitoring protocols at Robertson County EMS.

Can this blood be given to women of childbearing age? 

Certainly. The risk-benefit assessment for the patient leans towards accepting the risk of antibody formation rather than facing the potential outcome of death resulting from hemorrhage.

What kind of reactions can occur? 

 

Possible reactions to the administration of whole blood to a patient may include allergic reactions, fever, or, in rare cases, more severe responses like anaphylaxis or transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). It's important to note that these reactions are similar to those that can occur with any blood product.

How does the blood get administered? 

Whole blood is typically administered through an intravenous (IV) or intraosseous (IO) line.  The blood is  warmed using an FDA-approved warmer before infusion. This helps maintain an optimal temperature for the blood, ensuring a smoother and  more effective administration process, along with better patient outcomes.

Why administer whole blood over components? 

Administering whole blood over components is preferred due to the logistics of platelet shelf life. The effective shelf life of platelets, a crucial coagulation factor for bleeding trauma patients, is only three days. Since patients bleed whole blood, replacing it with cold-stored whole blood, which contains both plasma and platelets, is a more practical solution. Remarkably, the platelet function in cold-stored whole blood on day 21  remains comparable to that in a regular unit on day 5, where it must be either used or discarded. This underscores the efficiency and extended usability of whole blood, making it a valuable choice in emergency situations.

Are there any concerns about whole blood? 

 

Negative. This blood product was the sole option for transfusions from the initiation of blood transfusion up until the 1970s. In fact, the risks associated with patient transfusions actually decrease as they receive blood from a single donor source rather than from three distinct sources(as with component therapy).

 

Publications

Use_of_Cold-Stored_Whole_Blood_is_Associated_With_Improved_Mortality_in_Hemostatic_Resuscitation_of_Major_Bleeding_A_Multicenter_Study.pdfPrehospital_whole_blood_reduces_early_mortality_in_patients_with_hemorrhagic_shock.pdfTime_is_the_Enemy.pdfPrehospital_low-titer_cold-stored_whole-blood_Philosophy_for_ubiquitous_utilization_of_O-positive_product_for_emergency_use_in_hemorrhage_due_to_injury.pdfWhole_blood_for_postpartum_hemorrhage_early_experience_at_two_institutions.pdf

Resident Eagle: Whole Blood in the Rural EMS Environment

Prehospital Transfusion of Low-Titer O + Whole Blood for Severe Maternal Hemorrhage: A Case Report

 

 

 

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