AirMed crew members bring O-negative blood and AB plasma to the site of an emergency

AirMed carries O-negative blood and AB plasma on each flight. Approximately two patients per week receive blood products on the way to the hospital. This blood is from individuals who donated through ARUP Blood Services.

September 27, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY—On Saturday, October 2, 2021, an AirMed helicopter will land at ARUP Blood Services in Sandy to commemorate a yearlong partnership in which ARUP has provided blood for AirMed flights to transfuse patients before their arrival at the University of Utah Hospital.

The helicopter and its crew will be available from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to engage with the community. The helicopter will land at 10 a.m. at the parking lot for ARUP Blood Services’ Sandy Donor Center, located at 9786 South 500 West in Sandy. (The schedule is subject to change, as they will still be responding to emergency calls.)

“Severely injured trauma patients are at high risk of serious outcomes due to massive hemorrhage, especially in the first few hours upon arrival at the hospital. Getting blood to these patients early, even before they reach the hospital, can improve patient outcomes,” said Ryan Metcalf, MD, CQA(ASQ), medical director, ARUP Blood Services.

This prehospital care is the result of a collaboration between the U of U Health Medical Transport Services and ARUP Blood Services. AirMed carries O-negative blood and AB plasma on each flight. Approximately two patients per week receive blood products on the way to the hospital. In trauma, early and balanced resuscitation with red blood cells and plasma is critical to patient outcomes.

The blood on AirMed flights is supplied by individuals who have donated through ARUP Blood Services, which is the sole blood supplier for U of U Health hospitals and clinics. 

To Donate

To schedule an appointment, visit the ARUP Blood Services website or call 801-584-5272. By scheduling an appointment, you can avoid wait times and help ensure social distancing. Donors must wear a mask while inside the donor center.

The donor center will be open on Saturday, October 2, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

About ARUP Blood Services

ARUP Blood Services is a division of ARUP Laboratories, which is a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah and the Department of Pathology. ARUP Blood Services is the sole blood provider to University of Utah Health hospitals and clinics and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

About AirMed

AirMed was established on June 16, 1978, as the eighth air medical transport program in the nation. AirMed flies trauma, burn, medical, pediatric, neonate, high-risk OB, and cardiac patients 24 hours a day with six helicopters and two airplanes placed throughout northern Utah and Wyoming. AirMed uses state-of-the-art equipment, including digital capnography, invasive line management, and intra-aortic balloon pumps for transport. AirMed’s mission is to deliver the highest quality of care to patients, and AirMed will continue to strive for excellence in every aspect of our profession.

Media Contact:

Deb Jordan, Community Relations Supervisor, ARUP Blood Services, 801-583-2787 x2639, mobile: 818-681-4681