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AIR METHODS THANKS GOVERNOR HOCHUL FOR SIGNING LIFESAVING BLOOD TRANSFUSION BILL

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Thank you to the state of New York for putting patients first

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Col. December 23, 2021 – Air Methods, which serves New York state as LifeNet of New York, applauds the New York State legislature for supporting and Governor Hochul for signing S. 4085/A.2561 this week.  This important legislation will allow air ambulance transport service providers to store and distribute blood at all their facilities and initiate and administer transfusions while providing patient cared during an air emergency transport.

“On behalf of all of our dedicated care providers and crewmembers serving the State of New York, and the patients we help, we thank Governor Hochul, Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, Senator Michelle Hinchey, and all the supporters of this bill for their leadership on this critical issue,” said JaeLynn Williams, CEO of Air Methods. “This law will save the lives of many New Yorkers and we are grateful to state leaders for allowing us to provide life-saving blood on all our flights for  our patients.”

Air medical crews in New York have historically been prohibited from initiating a blood transfusion from blood stores at their base, because outdated state regulations required these services to operate as blood bank distribution centers. New York was the only state in the nation with a law like this on the books, which effectively prohibits air medical crews from providing blood transfusions despite providing the highest level of medical care in-transport as critical care services.

“Our crewmembers strive every day to save lives, but their hands have been tied while providing care to patients that needed blood transfusions while in transport,” said Air Methods Chief Nursing Officer Stephanie Queen, PhD. “Our data shows that over the last several years lives have been lost as a result of this outdated law in New York; signing S. 4085/A. 2561 will save New Yorkers lives and we thank you!”

After two years of working with the New York Department of Health, the legislature, and the Governor’s office this regulatory correction was necessary to bring New York up to the standards of the rest of the nation. The issue gained traction in 2021 when following a farming accident, a New York-based aircraft was dispatched but not available, so the patient was transported by Guthrie Air from Sayre, Pennsylvania. This neighboring state allows the transporting of blood and allows blood transfusions during flight.  The patient lost both of his legs, but the blood transfusion was absolutely necessary to save his life after experiencing such high-acuity trauma. This was only possible because blood was allowed to be provided during the transport by a Pennsylvania-based aircraft.

The bill will go into effect immediately upon being signed, which means Air Methods can utilize the infrastructure they have built in New York state to provide blood transfusions in-flight as quickly as possible under the new law.

“We are grateful that this legislation has passed, and we can now better serve the people of New York,” said Williams. “Thank you again to the New York leaders for all their support and we are pleased to implement this new legislation to empower our incredible clinical teams to do what they do best—save lives.”

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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.

Media Contacts:                                                                                                                      

Doug Flanders

VP Communications, Air Methods

[email protected]

Adam Beeson                                                                                                             

Amendola Communications                                                                                                  

(847) 867-0048

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