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EMS In Northwest Region Carrying New Blood Product

August 03, 2023

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital paramedics are now equipped with packed red blood cells (PRBCs). This blood product is used for pre-hospital blood transfusions when the patient experiences major trauma or other life-threatening injury or illness that causes critical bleeding, such as a postpartum hemorrhage, aneurysm, or gastrointestinal bleed.

PRBCs carry oxygen in the blood stream to maintain vital organs and also expand blood volume quickly — allowing EMS personnel to stabilize the patient while traveling to the hospital. The use of this blood product in ground EMS represents a step forward in innovative, high-quality patient care.

Packed red blood cells are a significant advancement in pre-hospital care in rural areas, where time and distance to a trauma center are major factors in patient outcomes. Historically, blood products have only been available once a patient arrived to the hospital or if transported by LIFE STAR.