FRANKLIN, Tennessee (WTVF) — Becoming the first 911-ground transport in the state, Williamson Medical Center Emergency Medical Service can now administer blood to patients before they reach the hospital.
The Tennessee Department of Health EMS Board authorized the group, which becomes one of only seven systems across the country to provide blood products for patients during transport. This permanent authorization follows the completion of a successful two-year blood products administration trial. Vanderbilt Lifeflight has been doing the practice for more than two decades.
“This program is representative of Williamson Medical Center’s commitment to innovative investments supporting best-in-class quality care for the community we serve,” said Phil Mazzuca, Williamson Medical Center CEO. “We are proud of our exceptional EMS team and their work to continually set the bar for pre-hospital care in Tennessee.”
The WMC EMS team participated in training for the program with three levels of licensure completed for advanced EMTs, paramedics and critical care paramedics, who are approved to safely administer blood and are re-credentialed every six months. In addition, the WMC EMS team conducted outreach education about the program for the countywide emergency system to drive awareness of program and availability of blood for critical need.
During the two-year program trial, WMC EMS administered blood to 14 patients.
The operation of the program requires a stand-alone emergency vehicle equipped with a military-rated blood storage cooler to support emergency responders treating patients in urgent need of blood. A detailed quality control system including daily protocols ensures blood is stored properly and utilized before it expires.
Blood utilized by the WMC EMS team comes from Blood Assurance, the blood bank serving the Williamson County community. Local blood donations made through Blood Assurance remain in the community to serve local patients.
As the Williamson County primary 911 emergency medical provider, WMC EMS employs more than 146 paramedics, EMTs and support personnel and operates 16 advanced life support ambulances. WMC EMS, has been providing emergency medical services and related aid through a comprehensive county EMS systems approach since 1972.