Ambulances Utilizing Whole Blood for Medical Treatment


Ambulances Utilizing Whole Blood for Medical Treatment

For the last five years, first responders all over the world have been closely monitoring San Antonio. Dr. CJ Winckler, the deputy medical director of the San Antonio Fire Department, highlighted the city’s unique EMS system as the first and only metropolitan system in America to carry whole blood for transfusions. This initiative involves eight city EMS vehicles equipped with whole blood that can be administered to individuals at risk of bleeding to death before reaching the hospital.

In various scenarios such as blunt hemorrhagic shock patients from car accidents, penetrating trauma cases involving gunshot or knife wounds, and even complicated pregnancy-related emergencies, the availability of whole blood for transfusions has proven to be life-saving. Dr. Winckler discussed a specific incident involving a young mother experiencing severe bleeding who was successfully treated with a transfusion in a critical situation.

The results have been impressive, with a notable increase in saving the lives of blunt trauma patients demonstrating the significant impact of this prehospital blood transfusion program. Dr. Winckler emphasized the valuable lessons learned over the past five years and how San Antonio has become a model for others in the country and around the world seeking guidance on implementing similar programs.

As a collaborative effort between TPR and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Science & Medicine explores the groundbreaking scientific discoveries in the region that are transforming the practice of medicine both locally and globally.

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