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Patient Care

Boston MedFlight Now Carrying Blood Products

Boston Herald

Boston MedFlight is the first ambulance service in the state to carry life-saving blood products in their helicopters and other vehicles that will help up to 180 patients a year.

The initiative with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which was approved by the state Department of Public Health, allows for storage, transport and administration of blood products to treat critically ill and injured patients in Boston MedFlight’s ground and air vehicles.

“With the assistance of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, this is a significant addition to the services that we provide, ensuring that all critically ill or injured patients who need blood or blood products have it available during critical care transport when every second counts,” said Maura Hughes, CEO of Boston MedFlight.

Boston MedFlight has already administered blood to one patient, a person involved in a serious motor vehicle crash. The patient was transported from the scene to one of Boston MedFlight’s consortium hospitals and is in the intensive care unit after emergency surgery.

Critical care nurses and paramedics will have 24-hour access to the products and based on experience, Boston MedFlight said it will impact between 120 to 180 patients a year.

“Boston MedFlight means excellence in critical care transport,” said Julia Sinclair, senior vice president of inpatient and clinical services for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “We are honored to be able to collaborate with them to provide their clinicians with 24-hour immediate access to appropriate blood products following life threatening illness or injury.”

Blood products are now available on transport vehicles out of Boston MedFlight’s Bedford headquarters and will later be expanded to its remaining three bases in Plymouth, Lawrence and Mansfield.

The Boston MedFlight Blood Transfusion Program is the only special project of its kind that is approved to operate in the Bay State, according to DPH. This project was approved as of July 19, 2019 and expires on Nov. 21, 2020.

Boston MedFlight treats 4,700 people every year, keeping costs down for patients due to their nonprofit status, and gives away $4 million in free care each year. They treat only the sickest patients, a quarter of them children. The service has six aircrafts and seven ambulances.

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