Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services has implemented a new program allowing EMTs and paramedics to deliver blood supplies at emergency scenes, officials announced Friday.
- The portable blood delivery program aims to increase the survivability of patients suffering from major traumatic shock or conditions including gastrointestinal bleeds and postpartum hemorrhaging.
“Providing efficient, quality aid for patients under our care is important to upholding the goals of preserving and protecting the lives of Okaloosa County families,” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Trey Goodwin. “This program gives our EMTs and paramedics a significant tool to save lives.”
The blood, supplied by OneBlood Inc., will be stored in temperature-controlled containers on selected response vehicles. Once first responders arrive at a scene, the blood can be warmed to the proper temperature and administered to a patient within three minutes, allowing for one unit of blood to be transfused, according to the county.
Okaloosa County EMS is the first ground ambulance transport provider in the Florida Panhandle to carry and provide whole blood in the field. Officials said the portable blood delivery programs are becoming more widely adopted in emergency services as a way to dramatically increase patient survival rates.
The program comes as Okaloosa County EMS aims to uphold a high standard of care for families across the county. All local hospitals have been informed of the new protocols and provided training opportunities, according to the county.