Local EMS units now carrying life-saving whole blood

The EMS station in Devine received its first delivery of “whole blood” this past Friday, June 12, a lifesaving tool that will be carried on Allegiance Mobile Health Ambulances. Allegiance–who serves as the EMS provider for Devine, Natalia, Castroville, LaCoste, and Mico areas of Medina County, and also in nearby Bigfoot/Moore in Fro County–is one of the first private EMS companies in the State of Texas to carry whole blood.

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“Carrying whole blood is on the cutting edge of EMS treatment of trauma victims in the field,” stated Daniel Gillespe, Chief Operating Officer for Allegiance Mobile Health. “Allegiance is one of only a few ground EMS agencies in the State performing this procedure. Whole blood along with tranexamix acid (TXA) is vital to clotting and replacing volume lost in everything from multi system trauma to child birth complications with heavy bleeding. Stopping the bleed and replacing volume is critical to saving lives in the field.”
“Often times a critically injured patient with heavy blood loss will not make it to the hospital for the blood transfusion,” Gillespe stated. “We have invested heavily to be part of this project because we want the citizens in our 911 service areas to have access to the very best emergency medical care possible.”
The blood is a universal type. In the past, carrying whole blood on an ambulance was a difficult process, but leaders have come up with ways to make it work. Because it has to be used within a couple weeks time, if a pack of blood is not used, the blood and tissue center exchanges the blood with a new package, and then takes the other pack of blood to be used in hospitals quickly, so that no blood is lost.
Pat Bourcier, of Natalia, commented, “I’m really excited Allegiance is bringing this type of care to our district. Statistically, they say 50% of fatalities that die from blood loss due to trauma wounds, wouldn’t have died if they had whole blood available before getting to the hospital.”
“Twenty years ago, the only people who had whole blood was the military during war time, and of course in hospitals,” Bourcier adds. “When you have severe blood loss your other organs start shutting down, so getting blood fast is critical. After forty years in the EMS field, I can tell you having whole blood on ambulances will save hundreds and hundreds of lives. Allegiance is one of the first private companies to do this, and I’m proud to be part of this team.”

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