Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law a bill sponsored by State Senator Pam Helming that will allow air ambulance services such as Mercy Flight to carry blood products and to administer transfusions.
Senator Helming said, “With the signing of this bill, we have not only fixed an arcane state law and shown support for our dedicated air EMS providers, we have implemented a change that can potentially save lives. A blood transfusion can be the difference between life and death. In our rural areas, where residents may live far from the nearest trauma center or tertiary care center, it is especially important that trained air medical professionals be able to respond with the necessary resources to treat critically ill or traumatically injured patients. Thank you to Mercy Flight Central for advocating for this legislation and for their incredible service to our communities.”
Prior to this law, New York was the only state in the nation that did not allow medical flight crews to carry or distribute blood during emergencies.
“Mercy Flight Central is dedicated to excellence in the care that we provide and the legislation to allow air EMS to carry blood will have a direct and positive impact on our communities,” said Jeff Bartkoski, President and CEO of Mercy Flight Central. “In the past several years, we have transported many patients in hemorrhagic shock, most of which would have benefitted from the administration of blood products in the pre-hospital environment. The ability to carry and administer blood products while in flight is not only the next step to a higher level of pre-hospital medical care but it will improve outcomes and save lives of the patients that we serve. Thank you to Senator Helming and those who voted to pass this important legislation.”
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