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New Orleans EMS can give blood transfusions, starting Monday

October 17, 2021 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans officials say that the city’s emergency medical service will be the first ground-based EMS in Louisiana with paramedics able to give blood transfusions.

Some ambulances will be equipped for transfusions starting on Monday, with blood products provided by The Blood Center, according to a news release sent Friday.

Most people who bleed to death do so before they get to a hospital and it’s the leading cause of preventabe death, said the statement from New Orleans EMS spokesman Lt. John Fourcade.

Paramedics who can give transfusions to patients in an ambulance can stabilize them more effectively, he wrote.

“This is a monumental occasion as we partner with The Blood Center to administer blood,” said Dr. Emily Nichols, director of New Orleans EMS.

The agency will also continue its “Stop the Bleed” campaign, giving free lesson s in how to stop bleeding through techniques such as applying pressure to a wound, packing wounds, and using tourniquets.