A New York State First: Stony Brook Approved for Blood Transfusions on Ambulances

FEBRUARY 19, 2016 Stony Brook University Hospital Ambulance Service is making strides in saving lives on-the-go. The academic medical center is the first Emergency Medical Services provider in New York State to be approved as an Ambulance Transfusion Service, which administers blood components during transport from one hospital to another hospital. The Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Systems, and the Blood and Tissue Resources Program have collaborated on this process to allow advanced life support ambulance services, including inter-facility transports for patients who are receiving blood or blood products.

Dr.-Beck_Ambulance-sized“Prior to this approval, EMS personnel (paramedics) were not allowed to administer blood products to patients in the ambulance,” said Eric Niegelberg, Associate Director of Operations for Emergency Services and Internal Medicine for Stony Brook Medicine. “This meant that if a patient was being transferred here from another hospital and emergently needed a blood transfusion we had to ensure that a nurse or other appropriate credentialed person was on the ambulance. This could result in delays of transfer for critically ill patients.”

“This achievement is well deserved, particularly after a long regulatory process, where patients will undoubtedly benefit from this expanded level of care,” said Bob Delagi, MA, NREMT-P, Director, Suffolk County EMS and Public Health Emergency Preparedness.

“The Trauma Center applauds this service enhancement,” said James Vosswinkel, MD, Chief, Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care, “as it can ensure lifesaving treatments for interfacility transfers who require the administration of blood products enroute to the Regional Trauma Center.”

Niegelberg accredited the collaboration of the Blood Bank team, led by Dennis Galanakis, MD, Director of the Blood Bank, and the Emergency Medical Services team, led by Stephen Slovensky, MBA, EMT-P, EMS Director for Stony Brook University Hospital, as effective and dedicated to the details of significant policies, procedures and training that had to be developed and refined in order to obtain the approval.

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