Local News

Blood Centers in need for donations, parntership to assist in effort

HAMMOND, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - A new partnership hopes to provide more emergency blood services in long distances to those in need during natural disaster relief.

The Blood Center has partnered with Acadian Air Med, a division of Acadian Ambulance with base stations in Baton Rouge, Houma and Hammond, Air Med helicopters carry two O positive and two O negative units of red blood cells from The Blood Center.

“Due to an increased number of critical patients traveling long distances, air services can be highly impactful in patient outcomes,” says Acadian Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Burnell.

Acadian Air Med is the first and only air ambulance with blood supplies to serve the oil and gas industry and the many platforms and workers located in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Those patients will now have improved chances of survival, despite being in ultra-remote locations,” says Burnell.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012 showed that survival rates for critically injured patients increased by 16 percent when helicopter travel was involved and that rate is even higher when blood is available to patients needing pre-hospital transfusions.

“The goal is to transport patients to centers with the highest level of care. When extra time means the difference between life and death, a blood transfusion can be a lifesaving treatment,” says Mark Morris RN, clinical care coordinator for Acadian Air Med.

Having blood onboard can increase the window of time to transport the patient to a dedicated trauma center,” he adds.

Acadian Air Med was founded in 1981 and currently operates a fleet of nine medically configured helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft from seven base stations, strategically located throughout South Louisiana and Southeast Texas.

A non-profit community service organization, The Blood Center has a long standing tradition of providing quality blood products to over 30 regional facilities, and provides Acadian Air Med with the lifesaving components needed for patient care. The Blood Center operates donor centers in Southeastern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi.

To maintain a healthy and stable community blood supply, The Blood Center must collect between 300 to 350 pints of blood every day. The demand for blood and blood components is constant. Find The Blood Center on social media at @TheBloodCenter.

Visit TheBloodCenter.org to find a blood drive or donor center in your area.

Businesses, schools, civic or religious groups are encouraged to call 800-86-Blood to learn how a blood drive can be organized in your community.

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