SD air ambulance provider adds blood, plasma to flights

Air Methods announced that Black Hills Life Flight crews will now be able to give transfusions during transport

By Laura French

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — A South Dakota air ambulance provider will now carry blood and plasma for all air medical transports. 

Air Methods announced in a press release that its Black Hills Life Flight base in Rapid City will carry blood and plasma on its missions in an effort to improve outcomes for patients involved in traumatic injuries or other conditions that require transfusions. In addition to South Dakota, the base also serves residents in the border states of Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming.

“Black Hills Life Flight is proud to add blood and plasma to flights to enhance our ability to care for patients,” said Darryl Crown, regional business account executive for Air Methods and Black Hills Life Flight, in a statement. “The ability to provide patients with potentially better outcomes is another important milestone for Black Hills Life Flight, particularly when serving individuals in rural areas who rely on air transport to quickly get them to the emergency care they need. Administration of blood, combined with rapid air transport, can truly help critically ill or injured patients who otherwise might not survive.”

Black Hill Life Flight's helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft will carry one unit each of Type O blood, Type O-negative blood and plasma, according to a post on the agency's Facebook page. 

Air Methods states that a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed administration of thawed plasma during prehospital air medical transport to patients suffering significant blood loss and at risk of hemorrhagic shock resulted in lower 30-day mortality and faster blood clotting that standard-care resuscitation. 


Black Hills Life Flight is now carrying blood on both of our helicopter and airplane. We will carry one unit of each, O...

Posted by Black Hills Life Flight on Friday, July 10, 2020


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