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‘More lives will be saved’: Kansas City air ambulance helicopters start carrying blood for first time in 30 years

By Nathan Brennan

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — In an effort to help save more patients, Med-Trans and Community Blood Center have teamed up, supplying blood products during flights.

The partnership includes three programs in both Kansas and Missouri, including Healthstar One, Lifestar Kansa, and EagleMed. This is the first time blood will be available on aircraft in three decades.

To kick off the service, the Healthstar One helicopter landed at Chicken and Pickle in Overland Park before the venues blood drive. All three aircraft will carry O+ whole blood.

First responders said this will be a much-needed resource for patients in rural communities who live further away from trauma centers. Healthstar One covers anywhere from Oklahoma to St. Louis.

“We have seen case after case where blood therapy was needed, specifically whole blood for trauma patients,” Healthstar One program director, Tony Raboin said.

All of the blood carried during rescues will be supplied by Community Blood Center donors. Kelsey Smith with CBC said this is another opportunity for the community to help save a life.

“Having this blood on these air ambulances is literally the difference between life and death for some of these patients,” Smith said.

According to CBC staff, there continues to be a blood shortage in the Kansas City region. The center is always accepting donors. One donation can save up to three lives.

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