Native Air Holds Blood Drive Celebrating One Year of Service


Announces capability to transfuse donated whole blood during emergency response

COTTONWOOD, AZ, April 16, 2024 – Native Air 83, in partnership with the Cottonwood Fire Department, hosted a blood drive commemorating one year of providing lifesaving service to the community. Additionally, the Native Air team officially announced they now carry whole blood with them on every transport.

“We held a blood drive to not only celebrate our year in service but also share with our community just how important it is to donate blood,” said Flight Nurse and Base Outreach Coordinator Shawnee Morrison, adding how the blood drive garnered more than 20 units of blood which have the potential of saving up to 60 lives. “Our ability to carry whole blood is a critical lifesaving resource for Arizonans and visitors who vacation and recreate throughout the state.”

The Native Air team previously carried packed red blood cells (PRBC) and plasma. Now they carry whole blood, which can be administered in flight, offering superior outcomes for patients suffering from trauma or hemorrhagic shock. It is particularly valuable in rural areas where there may be limited access to donated blood. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that whole blood transfusions improve the 30-day survival rate of patients suffering from hemorrhagic shock by 60 percent. The earlier patients receive whole blood, the better their outcomes, showing the significance of pre-hospital transfusion.

“It’s the gold standard in lifesaving care,” said Morrison. “When used, it has proven that moderately to severely injured patients, including those with head injuries, particularly benefit from whole blood transfusions.”

Not only has the Native Air team provided life-saving services over the past year, but they have also supported the community in a variety of events and activities, including training with local EMS partners and assisting requestors whenever called upon.

“Partnerships with our local EMS responders are key in any emergency response ecosystem,” said Native Air Account Executive Jeannette Hovey. “This blood drive was a prime example. The Cottonwood Fire Department understood the critical value of blood donations, and we were thankful to have partnered with them for this event.”

Native Air is part of Air Methods, the nation’s largest air medical services provider. Native Air clinicians and pilots have years of experience in the field and receive advanced, ongoing training. Nurses and paramedics have access to Air Methods Ascend, an in-person and online training program that allows clinicians to perform at the top of their licensure.

Air Methods does not sell pre-paid memberships. The No Surprises Act, which went into effect in January 2022, protects patients with health insurance from receiving surprise medical bills for emergency services, including air ambulance transportation. Under this Act, patients are only responsible for the copay, coinsurance, deductible, or maximum out-of-pocket cost outlined in their healthcare plans, regardless of which provider handles the transport.


About Air Methods:
Air Methods ( is the nation’s leading air medical service, delivering lifesaving care to more than 100,000 people every year. With over 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. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased, or maintained aircraft features approximately 400 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Air Methods Ascend is the company’s clinical education program, allowing critical care nurses and paramedics best-in-class training opportunities using high-fidelity manikins, virtual reality, and cadaver labs.

For interviews, contact:                                                                                       
Denisse Coffman
Vice President of Corporate Communications
Air Methods Corporation