In The News

American Red Cross to Supply Blood on Air Methods’ Aircraft

Nov 6, 2019, 10:40 AM by Air Methods

Nationwide partnership fills gaps for lifesaving blood and plasma needed for traumatic injury response and other air medical missions

DENVER, November 5, 2019 – Air Methods, the leading air medical service provider, announced today that the American Red Cross will supply blood and plasma for all its aircraft currently unaffiliated with a regional blood center or health system. The partnership affects 98 Air Methods bases nationwide.

Carrying blood and plasma has been a top priority for Air Methods for years as it is often needed for patients with traumatic injuries other disease processes resulting in hemorrhage. However, in some areas, access to blood and plasma was not a feasible option given the limited resources within the remote areas air medical access is most needed. This partnership with the American Red Cross ensures that all Air Methods aircraft will have the lifesaving biomaterials ready when needed.

The importance of having blood and plasma available during air medical missions can be a significant contributing factor in patient outcomes. For example, in patients at risk for hemorrhagic shock due to blood loss, the administration of thawed plasma during prehospital air medical transport was safe and resulted in lower 30-day mortality and faster blood clotting than standard-care resuscitation, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.

“The addition of blood and plasma on each transport is a critical milestone as it provides our crews with another tool to use with the patient in time-sensitive situations, such as after a car accident where a patient is severely bleeding,” said Tina Giangrasso, senior vice president of Clinical Services at Air Methods. “Air Methods is proactive and wants to provide all of the equipment that an ICU has on our aircraft so that patients in emergent care situations receive optimal care throughout the flight to the hospital or between hospitals.”

Safety- and Outcomes-Focused Culture
The addition of blood and plasma on all flights is another way Air Methods continues to enhance the safety of missions and improve patient outcomes. This patient-centered culture is reflected in its clinical standards and training. For example, Air Methods’ registered nurses or paramedic-level trained clinicians must have practiced at least three years in a critical care or high-volume EMS setting. Clinicians must also obtain 100 hours of continuing education every year following Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) standards. In addition, every Air Methods mission is placed within Air Methods extensive continuous quality improvement process to identify best practices along with possible training or education opportunities. 

Another example of this dedication to safety is Air Methods’ $100-million, 10-year investment in flight simulators, announced in 2017, to ensure that the company’s 1,300 pilots are prepared for the most challenging safety scenarios. Pilots also fly the world’s largest civilian fleet of helicopters, fully-equipped with safety features such as night vision goggles (NVGs), XM satellite weather and tracking systems, GPS and helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems. Combined, Air Methods’ clinicians and pilots comprise the most-highly trained, skilled and properly equipped crews in the air medical service industry.


About Air Methods
Air Methods (www.airmethods.com) is the leading air medical service, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. United Rotorcraft is the Company’s products division specializing in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features more than 450 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. 

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Media Contacts:
Megan Smith
Amendola Communications (for Air Methods)
(404) 408-3379
mhsmith@acmarketingpr.com