Mercy Air Care in Sioux City has recently begun working with LifeServe Blood Center to carry blood on the Mercy Air Care helicopter. Type O-negative blood, which can be donated to patients of all blood types, will be stocked on board and can be used for trauma patients being transported to the hospital. The blood will be kept in a special cooler on the aircraft and if not used, will be returned to hospital stores, so it is not wasted.
Initiating a blood transfusion before the patient arrives at the hospital can mean the difference between life and death for some critically injured patients . Data shows that a person who has suffered significant trauma stands a better chance of survival after receiving blood immediately. Before this partnership, the crew could only administer fluids and control blood loss.
Mercy Air Care serves a mostly rural area in western Iowa, southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska. They are called on to transport patients suffering traumatic injuries to Mercy Sioux City, the region's only Level II Trauma Center. A typical call would involve responding to a motor vehicle accident. Having the ability to take blood to the scene of the accident will significantly improve the survival chances for a person who is lying in the car, possibly bleeding to death, while the rescue squad is trying to extract them from the vehicle.
Mercy Air Care, which began serving the Siouxland area in 1987, is committed to adapting to meet the needs of every patient they transport. As new technologies emerge, the Mercy Air Care team is continually improving the air ambulance service with the goal of a better outcome for each and every patient.