Helicopters Magazine

Features Commercial EMS
Edmonton’s STARS helicopters even more capable

December 10, 2014  By Metro News

Dec. 10, 2014, Edmonton - Edmonton’s STARS air ambulance will now be stocked up on a life-saving resource, opting to carry units of blood on board at all times when responding to medical missions.

Now the fourth city in Canada to keep
blood onboard, Edmonton’s STARS base director Corinne Edwards said
having blood handy for in-air transfusions will make a huge difference
to patients.

In the past, STARS would typically make a pit stop at an area
hospital for blood before heading to an incident site or even sometimes
make a judgment call to go without.

“It’s not the most ideal situation where you know that having blood
could have helped a patient and you didn’t have it,” said Edwards.


Now, thanks to a special Credo cooler designed by the U.S. military,
STARS crews will have two units of type O blood to administer when

Alberta Health Services medical director of transfusion medicine,
Susan Nahirniak, said the initiative between STARS, AHS and Canadian
Blood Services took almost two years of planning before the blood could
be maintained in the air ambulance.

“The one thing that is always a concern when you have blood readily
available is it going to be used inappropriately,” Nahirniak said.

Crews will now have a Credo cooler on board that they can access if
necessary. If the blood stock is not used within 96 hours, the units
will be transported back to a hospital and inspected to ensure quality
before it’s used for other patients.

Edmonton is the fourth city to carry blood in STARS helicopters, after Regina, Saskatchewan and Calgary.


Stories continue below

Print this page