Sussex County EMS and New Castle County EMS recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the pre-hospital, low titer O positive whole blood program implemented in partnership with Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD).

For the past year, Sussex County Paramedics and New Castle County Paramedics have saved more than 100 lives by transfusing critically injured, trauma patients at the scenes of car accidents and other tragedies through this cutting-edge, state-of-the-art treatment. Sussex County Paramedics went live with the program on May 23, 2023, and New Castle County Paramedics went live on May 24, 2023.

In a precursor of things to come, pre-hospital blood has been transfused in Kent County as well, in a limited fashion.

“When someone is literally bleeding to death, the most important thing that we can do is to stop that bleeding,” said Robert Murray, Director, Sussex County Department of Public Safety. “On-going treatment may involve replacing that lost blood and nothing beats replacing blood with blood. There is no question that the 54 units of blood that we have delivered in the past year saved lives.”

To celebrate the one-year anniversary, Murray and Sussex County EMS Field Training Coordinator Jordan Dattoli coordinated a blood drive with BBD on Thursday, May 23 in Georgetown, Delaware. The goal was to collect 54 units, and the drive exceeded that with 56 units. That included about half a dozen units of low titer, O positive blood units brought back to Blood Bank of Delmarva by Senior Director of Laboratories Kristin Frederick and Manager of Hospital Services and Logistics Jessica Camponelli.

New Castle County EMS has had great success with pre-hospital blood as well. New Castle County EMS Chief Mark R. Logemann expressed pride in the New Castle County Emergency Medical Services Division reaching the one-year anniversary of carrying whole blood in the field. 

“So far, this program has allowed our paramedics to administer 78 units of whole blood to those in need following traumatic injuries,” Chief Logemann said. “We have seen remarkable data that proves our use of whole blood administration in the field is having a positive impact on the critically injured patients we have cared for.  With the support of New Castle County Government and the amazing staff at the Blood Bank of Delmarva, we will continue to bring this life-saving treatment to those in need.  Please donate blood on a regular basis so this program and all life-saving blood programs can be sustained.”     

Similar to Sussex County, the New Castle County Blood Drive held on April 11 collected 47 units of blood, half a dozen of which were low titer, O positive whole blood units that replenished the units used by paramedics in the state. Fun fact: The first two units used by New Castle County Paramedics last year were donated by Sussex County Paramedics!