Three Illinois Air Evac Lifeteam Crews Now Carry Whole Blood on Every Flight


Air Evac Lifeteam partners with Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center to provide blood to trauma patients.
(O’FALLON, Mo.) Air Evac Lifeteam crews in Effingham, Mattoon and Mount Vernon are now carrying units of Type O whole blood on every flight. Air Evac has partnered with Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center to begin utilizing Type O whole blood for transfusions given to patients who have suffered severe blood loss and require aggressive fluid resuscitation.

Larry Thies, Senior Program Director for Air Evac Lifeteam, said Type O whole blood provides a flexible treatment option for patients requiring blood transfusion as they are transported to a higher level of emergency healthcare. “Type O whole blood will provide exceptional speed and flexibility in medical response in patients whose blood type is unknown to first responders,” he said.

Thies said he is excited to partner with MVRBC to provide life-saving whole blood to patients in need. “We’ve added refrigeration and storage capacity at our bases and on our aircraft to ensure we can provide this lifesaving treatment,” he said. “This is one more example of Air Evac’s dedication to providing the highest level of care to the patients and communities we serve.”

Community Blood Services of Illinois (based in Urbana) and Central Illinois Community Blood Center (based in Springfield) are part of Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center and will join in providing Type O whole blood units for Air Evac Lifeteam.

“We are so pleased to help serve the mission of Air Evac Lifeteam, and especially grateful for the volunteer donors who support blood inventories across our region,” said Mike Parejko, Chief Executive Officer of MVRBC. “Our partnership with Air Evac continues to highlight the impact blood components have in the healthcare continuum and improving patient care.”