WellSpan EMS, Air Methods Honor Partners During National EMS Week


WellFlight critical care teams share capability to transfuse donated whole blood during emergency response

YORK, PA, May 21, 2024 – In recognition of National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, Air Methods’ WellSpan WellFlight teams from Gettysburg and Lebanon, in partnership with WellSpan EMS, are honoring their EMS partners, and showing appreciation by donning chefs’ hats and providing home-cooked food.

They kicked off National EMS Week on May 19 by grilling hamburgers and hotdogs at WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital. They will be at WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital on Wednesday, WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital on Thursday, and rounding out the week at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital on Friday. Teams will be at each location grilling meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During each visit, the WellFlight air medical teams are using the opportunity to highlight their advanced critical care capabilities to help augment ground EMS teams, which include services like advanced airway management, cardiac and blood flow monitoring, and most notably, the ability to administer whole blood in flight.

“The integration of whole blood is a significant advancement in pre-hospital care,” said WellSpan WellFlight Clinical Director Misty Patty. “It offers a more comprehensive and effective solution for trauma patients experiencing severe hemorrhage compared to component therapy. It delivers a balanced ration of packed red blood cells (PRBC), plasma, and platelets which are crucial for oxygen transport, clotting, and overall hemodynamic stability.”

The WellSpan WellFlight air medical bases, and its sister base, LifeNet 8-1 in Hagerstown, MD (supporting WellSpan West), previously carried PRBC and plasma. In conjunction with the American Red Cross, they now carry whole blood, which can be administered in flight, offering superior outcomes for patients. It is particularly valuable in rural areas where there may be limited access to donated blood.

“It’s the gold standard for providing life-saving care,” said WellSpan WellFlight Clinical Base Lead and Flight Nurse Bob Salvatico. “When used, it has proven that moderately to severely injured patients, including those with head injuries, particularly benefit from whole blood transfusions.”

Not only have WellFlight teams provided life-saving services since opening — Gettysburg in 2020 and Lebanon in 2023 — 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,” said WellSpan WellFlight Account Executive Ron Brown. “We are honored to be able to not only thank our partners at these recognition events but also share our added capability to help improve our patient outcomes with being able to administer whole blood when it’s needed most.”