Mercy Flights is the first medical transportation organization in Southern Oregon and Northern California to carry blood onboard emergency aircraft and ground critical care ambulance. This is a growing industry-wide practice aimed to create positive patient outcomes, increase patient survivability, and provide a greater chance of stabilization before the patient arrives at the hospital.
The formal process of carrying blood took nearly two years and was finalized at the end of 2022. Mercy Flights worked in partnership with Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center providers and the Asante Blood Bank to create a plan in conjuncture with the Mercy Flights Critical Care Team, comprised of a Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) and a Certified Critical Care Flight Paramedic (FPC). “In the past, our team only had fluid available for critical patients, by carrying concentrated blood, we have been able to stabilize the patient before they are even loaded for flight” stated Kyle Roach, Mercy Flights Flight Paramedic. By providing concentrated red blood cells to patients within the “golden hour,” (which is defined as getting the patient to definitive care within one hour of the incident) it provides a significant increase in survivability.
Blood is stored between 2-5 degrees Celsius in the Mercy Flight hanger and is onboard every helicopter flight, and it is also available on MFI’s Critical Care Ground Ambulance staffed by Flight Providers for traumatic incidents within the city limits where blood is needed. The blood is simply put into a cooler that regulates the temperature for up to six hours. Since the pandemic, blood has become scarce, so if the blood is not used within two weeks, it gets rotated back into the Asante Blood Bank and is refreshed for crews.
Mercy Flights continues to find new and innovative ways to serve our neighbors needs in Southern Oregon and Northern California. To learn more about Mercy Flights, our services, and membership options, please visit mercyflights.com.