Since May 23, 2023, Sussex County Emergency Medical Services has partnered with Blood Bank of Delmarva to transfuse 54 units of low titer, O positive whole blood in the field as a powerful way to increase the survival rate for trauma patients.

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of this cutting-edge, pre-hospital transfusion program, Sussex County EMS held a blood drive to collect more than 54 units to give back to BBD.

Blood Bank of Delmarva Supervisor, Collections Chelsea Akers reported at the end of the draw that 55 donors were registered at the draw, and there were 41 successful whole blood units and eight more donors who donated double red cells, an automated procedure totaling 56 units.

Sussex County EMS Field Training Coordinator Jordan Dattoli, the blood drive coordinator, declared that the mission was accomplished.

“Today, members of the public, county employees, EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, emergency communications employees, nurses, police officers and physicians all came together to donate,” Dattoli said. “Our goal was to donate more units than we have administered, and we succeeded!”

“Thank you to our amazing donors, the Blood Bank of Delmarva, Sussex County Council, and the Office of EMS for this fantastic partnership,” he added. “Together, we are making a difference!”

It was Dattoli who first approached Sussex County Director, Public Safety Robert Murray about implementing the pre-hospital, whole blood program nearly three years ago.

In addition to Murray and Dattoli, Sussex County Medical Director Dr. Paul Cowan and Sussex County EMS Manager of Quality John Wright attended the blood drive. Dr. Cowan and Wright donated low titer, O positive, whole blood while Dattoli donated regular, O positive whole blood amongst a slew of colleagues from Sussex County Government.

In addition, a contingent of Beebe Healthcare nurses and trauma unit employees donated blood as well, including Jen Whaley, Jen Wix, and Jessie Simpson.

Among those also in attendance at the blood drive was Trinity Herold, whose daughter was saved by Sussex County EMS’ pre-hospital blood. On March 21, Bethany Stone was in a serious car accident on Sussex Highway in Greenwood, and Sussex County Paramedic Morgan Willey was among those who responded.

“It was bad. They ended up giving her both units of blood that day,” Herold said. “It saved her life. She was in a coma for five weeks, and she is now awake. I am forever indebted to this program.”

Joining Sussex County EMS on Thursday for the anniversary celebration was a continent from Blood Bank of Delmarva, including Senior Director of Laboratories Kristin Frederick, Manager of Hospital Services and Logistics Jessica Camponelli, Manager of Client Relations Chris Resler, and Marketing Manager Jason Burlew.