DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Premier Health’s CareFlight helicopters have become the first and only air service in Ohio to carry whole blood for emergent transfusion.

According to Premier Health, CareFlight helicopters are now equipped to carry whole blood for emergent transfusion.

“For the past 38 years, CareFlight Air and Mobile Services has provided exemplary life-saving care to the communities we serve,” said Candy Skidmore, vice president of emergency and trauma service lines, Premier Health. “Providing our medical transport teams this additional tool potentially strengthens the impact of our trauma services for severely injured patients.”

Premier Health said four helicopters now meet blood storage and temperature control requirements through specialized equipment designed for the transport environment. CareFlight policies and protocols have also been established to ensure proper blood supply management.

“As an extension of Premier Health’s Level 1 Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital, CareFlight literally brings an essential part of the trauma center to the patient,” said Andrew Hawk, MD, medical director of CareFlight Air and Mobile Services. “Administering a whole blood transfusion to a scene trauma patient in shock further enhances our ability to provide the best and most time-efficient trauma care available today.”

According to Premier Health, CareFlight has transported over 70,000 patients since its start in 1983 and has the capability to transport two patients, the pilot and two cerified flight nurses. CareFlight Air and Mobile Services has also recently received its 10th consecutive three-year accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems.