Air ambulances are called when minutes matter and a new partnership with Medical City Plano and PHI Air Medical (PHI) are ensuring that patients receive the most advanced trauma treatment available while in flight.
Medical City Plano is supplying PHI with plasma and blood products for placement on four of its North Texas Helicopters. PHI has installed special refrigerators at their helicopter bases and on their helicopters to safely accommodate the blood products.
Results of recent medical research indicate that giving patients in hemorrhagic shock excessive IV fluids inhibits blood clotting by diluting the patient’s intrinsic clotting factors, and patients with massive hemorrhage need rapid administration of packed red blood cells with equal and concurrent administration of plasma in order to effectively treat shock.
“Before our partnership, flight paramedics and nurses would administer IV fluids and the necessary blood transfusions would not happen until the patient arrived at the hospital,” said Amy Atnip, director of Trauma Services for Medical City Plano. “Today, patients are able to receive these blood products in route to the hospital, which helps jump start the treatment of critically injured patients before they arrive at the hospital, resulting in a better chance at survival.”
Since launching this program three months ago, PHI has administered plasma and blood in-flight on 17 critically ill patients.
“Nearly 50 percent of trauma deaths occur in the first hour after injury,” said Anthony Baca, PHI clinical manager. “A major challenge to successful trauma resuscitation revolves around the ability to get blood products to the patient quickly, and this new partnership is giving us the resources to safely administer critical blood products while in flight.”
Medical City Plano is the only Level II Trauma Center in Collin County and had more than 3,500 trauma activations last year, and is currently taking steps to become a Level I trauma facility.
“As a trauma center we receive a large number of critically ill patients who are transported from rural areas. This unique partnership enables us to significantly improve survival rates for severely injured patients coming from outlying regions,” said Charles Gressle, chief executive officer (CEO) of Medical City Plano. “We are excited to be the first hospital in North Texas to implement this life-saving process in partnership with PHI Air Medical.”
Medical City Plano:
Founded in 1975, Medical City Plano is a full-service, 493-bed, acute-care facility with more than 1,600 employees, including 1,000+ physicians who represent upwards of 70 specialties and subspecialties. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Medical City Plano is a Level II Trauma Center and was the first designated Comprehensive Stroke Center in Collin, Denton and Dallas Counties. Other honors and accolades include the Level III recognition granted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the hospital's Magnet designation for nursing excellence. Medical City Plano also owns the distinction of having been Collin County’s first Chest Pain Accredited hospital. It also maintains a Hospital Safety Score of “A” from The Leapfrog Group spring, 2015 report.
PHI Air Medical:
PHI Air Medical, a PHI company, is the leading air ambulance provider across the country, providing air medical services and outreach education to local communities and leading healthcare systems. PHI Air Medical pilots have recorded more than ten million flight hours, in virtually every type of helicopter and terrain known. The Air Medical fleet consists of proven aircraft outfitted with medical interiors conducive to providing sustained emergent care for air medical transports and most PHI Air Medical programs operate at or above Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) standards. PHI Air Medical headquarters are located in Phoenix, Arizona.