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Okaloosa County EMS Implements New Lifesaving Blood Delivery Program

Okaloosa County is proud to announce the implementation of a new blood administration program that will allow Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff to treat patients on emergency scenes with a portable supply of blood.

This lifesaving program will increase the survivability of patients who have sustained major traumatic shock as well as conditions including gastrointestinal (GI) bleeds, post-partum hemorrhage, and other severely bleeding patients.

“Providing efficient, quality aid for patients under our care is important to upholding the goals of preserving and protecting the lives of Okaloosa County families,” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Trey Goodwin. “This program gives our EMTs and paramedics a significant tool to save lives.”

Field blood delivery programs are becoming more commonplace in pre-hospital Emergency Medical Services systems. These programs have their roots in military battlefield medical operations dating back to World War I and can lead to a dramatic increase in the survivability of patients with serious, uncontrolled bleeding. Okaloosa County EMS is the first ground ambulance transport agency in the Florida Panhandle to carry and provide whole blood.
The blood, supplied by OneBlood, Inc., will be stored in a temperature-controlled storage device on board strategically selected response vehicles and used in accordance with approved policies, procedures, and protocols. Once the blood is delivered to the scene it will be warmed to the appropriate temperature and administered to the patient allowing one unit of blood to be delivered within three minutes to the patient.

All hospitals in the Okaloosa County EMS service area have been informed of this program and have been provided hands-on training opportunities with the equipment, process, and protocol.

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