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Va. EMS sees success and expansion with whole blood program

The Tidewater EMS Council is looking at treating young trauma patients and adding more locations



By Bill Carey

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A Virginia EMS organization is seeing success in making whole blood available in the field since it started almost a year ago.

The Tidewater EMS Council started the Whole Blood Initiative to allow first responders to carry blood in the field to administer to trauma patients over the age of 15, 13NewsNow reported. The initiative started in Virginia Beach and then expanded to Chesapeake.

Tidewater EMS Council Executive Director David Long said the program was an opportunity to improve the trauma care they deliver.

“When we started looking at our data, the impacts that we were having were rather limited because the loss of blood is one of those things that dictate outcomes,” Long said.

Chesapeake EMS Lieutenant Bobby Hoag is one of the first in his department trained to use it. He recently used whole blood to help a gunshot victim.

“They were shot in the lower extremity,” Hoag said. “They also met transfusion criteria through our protocol.”

Long said whole blood has been administered to 27 patients so far between Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Long is looking ahead at treating trauma patients as young as five with whole blood and expanding to other places including Portsmouth, Norfolk and Suffolk.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why Your Agency Needs To Carry Whole Blood

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