Intensive care flight team stresses need for blood
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The AirLink / VitaLink helicopter at New Hanover Regional Medical Center provides care for patients with traumatic events, but blood shortages make their jobs more difficult.
The crew aboard the helicopter say the severity of the blood shortage has increased due to the pandemic.
“This directly affects us from an intensive care transport perspective, as we are treating a population of patients who need blood products to resuscitate them, prevent them from dying, or prevent unnecessary or excessive use in hospitals,” said said the head of AirLink / VitaLink. Transportation Nurse Kevin Hodge.
When the call is made for a rescue flight, it is instant notification that the situation is serious and the patient has dangerous blood loss.
The intensive care team has a checklist they look at to determine if there is an immediate need for blood, but this shortage of donated blood has made that checklist even more onerous. The team said blood is a necessary tool on board.
“It really reduces the mortality and morbidity, as well as the negative downstream impacts for this patient, so it’s extremely important – the sooner we recognize the need, the sooner we will actually have access to the implementation of this product. for them, ”Hodge said.
This shortage creates limited access to blood, but the crew said the solution is simple: donate blood.
Hodge said, “Anyone can step in and say I can be a health hero, I can really let go and make a difference in someone else’s life.”
He wants people to think about the lives they can save by donating blood, and especially because you never know when it might be you or a loved one in need.
“By working collectively as a community we can fix this problem and we can provide this needed resource to people, so together I think we can be remarkable,” Hodge said.
The most important need is for O-negative blood, the universal blood group, but any donation can help. To put it in perspective, one person who donates blood can save up to three lives.
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