Saturday May 28th, 2022 6:41AM

Northeast Georgia Medical Center: Changing how blood transfusions save lives

By AccessWDUN Staff

Northeast Georgia Medical Center and the Region 2 Regional Trauma Advisory Committee are partnering on new blood transfusion programs designed to increase trauma patients’ chances of surviving both in ambulances and at the hospital.

Starting in early 2020, NGMC will be the lead agency in a state-approved pilot program that will allow EMS teams in four counties – Dawson, Habersham, Jackson and White – to provide blood transfusions to patients who need them during long ambulance rides.

“The RTAC team worked for months to create a proposal to develop a pre-hospital blood transfusion program, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to carry out a pilot project in our region,” said Dr. Nathan Creel, a trauma surgeon at NGMC and member of Region 2 RTAC. “This program is unprecedented in the state of Georgia.”

Currently, in Georgia, only air medical helicopters staffed with a registered nurse and a paramedic can initiate blood transfusions. Unfortunately, occasional bad weather or limited availability mean helicopters aren’t always an option in critical situations.

“The goal of the pilot program is to prove blood products can be safely administered by paramedics in ground ambulances,” said Chad Black, chairman for Region 2 RTAC. “I’m constantly proud of the healthcare workers in our region who go above and beyond to develop new programs to improve patient outcomes. We have no doubt that this program will not only save many lives, but also serve as a model for other regions in our state.”

In addition to the pilot program, NGMC is also among the first hospitals in the state and nation to now offer whole blood transfusions. That means any patient who suffers major blood loss – which can occur during childbirth, surgery, traumatic accidents or various other situations – can be treated with whole blood for an increased chance of survival.

Historically, civilian hospitals like NGMC have only provided component blood therapy. Component blood therapy involves separating donated blood into packed red blood cells, plasma, and platelets – then transfusing the different components depending on each patient’s specific need. However, military research has found infusing whole blood can improve outcomes for actively hemorrhaging patients.

“Whole blood transfusions are not typically seen in civilian hospitals across the United States, especially in non-urban areas, so we’re proud to offer this life-saving treatment close to home for people in Northeast Georgia,” said Jesse Gibson, trauma program manager for NGMC. “We will still offer component blood therapy as well, which means we have more tools in our arsenal to care for our community.”

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Northeast Georgia Medical Center, trauma, transfusion, Region 2 Regional Trauma Advisory Committee
© Copyright 2022
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center: Changing how blood transfusions save lives
Northeast Georgia Medical Center and the Region 2 Regional Trauma Advisory Committee are partnering on new blood transfusion programs designed to increase trauma patients’ chances of surviving both in ambulances and at the hospital.
5:00AM ( 8 seconds ago )
Impeachment inquiry crossroads: Keep going or time to vote?
The House and Senate are swiftly preparing next steps in the historic impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump
1:57AM ( 3 hours ago )
SATURDAY EDITION: Around Northeast Georgia
Area college gets grant for "Pollution in the Mountains" exhibit, dates set for Christmas on Green Street, NE Ga Medical Center Lovelight tree lightings...
12:01AM ( 4 hours ago )
Local/State News
Two Northeast Georgia Health System employees recognized by hospital association
Two long-time employees of Northeast Georgia Health System are among only six healthcare workers in the state officially recognized as " hospital heroes" by the Georgia Hospital Association this year.
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:00PM ( 1 week ago )
NGHS will treat Anthem as in-network through Dec. 31
Northeast Georgia Health Systems says it will continue to treat patients with Anthem insurance as though they are in-network through the end of the year, but it is encouraging people to choose a new insurance provider next month during open enrollment.
12:01PM ( 1 month ago )
Northeast Georgia Medical Center part of cancer research group to share $11M in federal funding
Northeast Georgia Medical Center is part of a statewide cancer research group that recently received a multi-milion dollar grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to help improve care for cancer patients.
By AccessWDUN Staff
5:36PM ( 1 month ago )
Smith departs NGHS, Covert named interim COO
Northeast Georgia Health System has confirmed the departure of Louis Smith, who had served as President of Northeast Georgia Medical Center since March 2, 2015.
7:03AM ( 1 month ago )
GBI: Oakwood man shot, killed by Gainesville police officers
An Oakwood man was the suspect shot and killed by Gainesville Police Department officers Friday, Sept. 20, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
9:40AM ( 2 months ago )