HealthSTAR ONE will partner with Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City to supply air ambulances with blood products for the first time in 30 years 

KANSAS CITY – In an effort to achieve better outcomes for patients in dire medical situations, HealthSTAR ONE will start carrying blood on its hospital-based air ambulance helicopters this month through a partnership with the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City (CBC).  This partnership will encompass 3 programs in the Kansas and Missouri Region, including HealthSTAR ONE, LifeSTAR of Kansas, and EagleMed, and will mark the first time aircrafts in this region will carry blood products in over 30 years.

The ability to provide whole blood therapy while in transit will be a life-saving tool for patients experiencing traumatic blood loss. This program will be available across Kansas and Missouri, but will be especially impactful for the rural communities in these regions, which are further from trauma centers and require longer travel time.

CBC will provide the whole blood units that will be used on these aircrafts. Established over 65 years ago, CBC serves 70+ hospitals in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area, as well as eastern Kansas and western Missouri. This potentially life-saving service will play a crucial role in the treatment of patients suffering from massive blood loss as a result of trauma or medical conditions.  

“In an emergency, every second counts. Blood transfusions have the power to save lives and this new program with HealthSTAR will allow patients in critical condition to get the care they need while en route to trauma centers,” said Patsy Shipley, Vice President at CBC. “We’re always looking for new ways to serve the community and we’re proud to be providing support to what will be a highly impactful program.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Trauma is the leading cause of death for individuals up to the age of 45
  • Trauma is the fourth leading cause of death overall for all ages.
  • There are almost 40,000 homicide and suicide deaths each year in the US.
  • There were 43,443 deaths and 2.7 million injuries from motor vehicle crashes in the US in 2005. Traffic Safety Facts, 2005 from the NHTSA

“HealthSTAR ONE, is committed to the communities and patients that we serve, it is with great pleasure that we can provide this region with lifesaving services and staff that are highly trained to complete these missions on a daily basis,” said Tony Raboin, RN, BSN, HealthSTAR ONE Program Director.

Each helicopter carries O+ Whole Blood which is the gold standard in trauma resuscitation and treatment for mass blood loss conditions and illnesses. In order to preserve the blood and ensure none is wasted, blood products are placed into FDA-approved coolers for each flight.  The temperature of the blood is constantly monitored. 

“Whole Blood resuscitation brings the best of trauma resuscitation science directly to the patient at the point of injury,” said Dr. Bryan Beaver, MD, EMS Fellow Director, HealthSTAR ONE Medical Director. “Without having to wait until arriving at a trauma center, whole blood on our aircraft will provide cutting edge, lifesaving treatment to critically injured patients right when they need it most.”