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Atlanta hospital EMS begins training on whole blood transfusions

Grady EMS paramedics will be the first in Atlanta to do blood transfusions in the field

By Bill Carey

ATLANTA — Grady EMS has announced that its paramedics will begin administering blood transfusions in the field for patients who suffer severe trauma where major blood loss occurs.

Grady EMS Medical Director Dr. Lekshmi Kumar said recent data shows that for every minute that passes for a patient losing blood, their chance of survival decreases by 5%, Atlanta First News reported.

“No longer are ambulances just a way to get a patient from the field to the hospital,” Kumar said. “What we are trying to do is bring that treatment to the patient.”

Approximately 30 paramedics began their training on Mar. 4. The hospital hopes to have the training complete by the end of the month.

Grady Memorial trauma surgeon Dr. Ryan Fransman said the whole blood transfusions will help with patient recovery.

“The number of holes that these patients are coming in with and the majority of these patients coming in with hemorrhagic shock — this is no joke anymore,” said Fransman.

Training with Atlanta dispatchers will ensure the trained crews respond to appropriate calls.