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NY bill passes allowing helicopter ambulances to carry and distribute blood

NY bill passes allowing helicopter ambulances to carry and distribute blood

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -- Air ambulances will be able to carry blood products for transfusions to emergencies. A bill passed Tuesday amends a state law that prohibited them from carrying and giving the life-saving measure.

In addition, air ambulances will be able to store blood products at bases, carry them on flights, and donate unused blood to rural hospitals.

New York had been the only state in the U.S. without the capability to perform blood transfusions, said State Senator Michelle Hinchey who along with Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, sponsored the bill.

"In rural parts of New York State, where there are no local hospitals, it can take more than an hour for someone to get to the nearest trauma center. That’s why it is so critical that we equip our first responders with the tools they need to provide life-saving care both on the scene of an emergency and en-route to the hospital," said Hinchey.

"New York State is the last state in the nation to implement this critical measure for our EMS providers. In cases severe enough to require helicopter transport to a medical facility, it only makes sense that we should allow these health professionals to perform a transfusion in what could be a lifesaving window of time. When minutes matter, seconds can make a difference," Woerner said.

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