Colleton County Fire-Rescue


12/March/2020 – Blood Delivery

Colleton County Fire-Rescue took delivery of its first shipment of whole blood from the Blood Connection Thursday morning 12-March. The units of blood were distributed to ambulances in several areas of the county as part of a Pilot Project approved by SC DHEC in December. After a year of meetings and presentations the department was given permission to perform whole blood transfusions in the pre-hospital setting on critical trauma and medical patients meeting certain criteria. Fire-Rescue plans to show that administering blood to the critical patients will improve survivability. The principal is sound and there is no substitute to administering blood to persons who have suffered severe blood loss, but the logistical side of caring for the blood in the field is a hurdle. Blood products require refrigeration and must be kept at a certain temperature at all times prior to administration. Most of Fire-Rescue’s fleet of Wheeled Coach Ambulances are equipped with Medi-Cool medical refrigerators and they meet the requirements for storing blood. Additional temperature monitoring equipment was installed on each of the ambulances to ensure the ranges set by the Blood Connection are met. The Firefighter-Paramedics regularly monitor the temperature throughout the shift. All of Fire-Rescue’s Firefighter-Paramedics and EMTs received specific training over the last two months and specialized equipment such as administration sets and fluid warmers have been placed on the ambulances as well. Fire-Rescue is excited to bring this higher level of care to the citizens of the County and is working with the regional Trauma Centers to improve the care rendered to these patients. We thank the County Council for funding the project and the support of the County Administration, the Fire-Rescue Commission, State Regulatory Agencies and the Regional Trauma Centers.