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Sussex County EMS will carry blood, as its the first agency in the state to implement this program

Sussex County EMS

Sussex County EMS will be the first in Delaware to carry blood for patients.

Sussex County Emergency Medical Services is launching this new program by teaming with the Blood Bank of Delmarva.

It will allow Sussex County EMS to administer blood transfusions when caring for critically sick and injured patients on the way to a hospital.

This provides a critical, timely – and potentially life-saving – treatment to patients suffering shock from blood loss.

This program is critical because patient transports to area hospitals can sometimes exceed 30 minutes, and time lost can decrease the chance of survival for a critical patient.

“Seeing this multi-year project come to fruition is one of the most satisfying times of my career,” said Sussex County EMS Director Robert Murray. “Trauma is one of the leading causes of death in our younger population. The administration of whole blood in those critically injured patients will undoubtedly save lives. In short, this is a game-changer for Sussex County and Delaware.”

The Blood Bank of Delmarva will supply whole blood from its blood bank to the Sussex County EMS, and both agencies will monitor conditions making sure the blood stock is maintained and used in the appropriate conditions and timeframe.

“The partnership between BBD and Sussex County will undoubtedly save lives,” said Emily Cunningham, vice president of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. “Director Murray says that his paramedics have often wondered if they could have saved more patients if they’d just had blood. We look forward to implementing this new program. We need more people to step up to donate blood so that the paramedics are always prepared.”

The Delaware Office of EMS approved the blood administration program, and Sussex County EMS paramedics have received training.

The blood EMS paramedics will carry is classified as ‘Low-Titer O Positive Whole Blood’ which allows administration to any patient, regardless of blood type.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.