Lawmakers from Upstate NY are pushing for life saving legislation allowing blood on air ambulances

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ALBANY, NY – Lawmakers from Upstate New York are pushing legislation they say will save lives. 

The bill would permit air ambulance providers “to store and distribute blood.”

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca explains why they say it’s especially critical in rural areas. 

When medical emergencies happen, air ambulances are deployed to quickly transport patients. 

But, State Senator Michelle Hinchey says New York is the only state in the nation where these medical helicopters aren’t permitted “to carry and transfuse blood.”

She says in rural parts of the state where there are no hospitals it can take more than an hour for someone to get the services they need. 

((Michelle Hinchey, NYS Senator)) It is so critical that on-the-spot treatments and blood transfusions can be done here in New York for those people who live in more remote areas.

((Dr. Luke Duncan, LifeNet of NY Medical Director))  New York State being a somewhat rural area, especially the Capital region and outside the Capital Region, there’s long transports, so these patients are going for a long time they have ongoing bleeding, and they’re being resuscitated with salt water, and that’s not optimal. 

But, now there’s legislation on the table at the State Capitol to change that. 

((Carrie Woerner, NYS Assemblymember)) That would permit air ambulances to carry blood and blood products and to administer those on flight when a patient requires that treatment. 

Back in March a Binghamton man named Travis Flanagan was involved in a serious farming accident that resulted in him having to have both of his legs amputated.

While Flanagan was in New York, being close to the border, a Pennsylvania medical chopper responded to the emergency. 

((Donna Lupardo, NYS Assemblymember)) Had a helicopter responded from New York, it’s likely that Mr. Flanagan would not be alive today to enjoy his beautiful family, which includes two young children with one on the way. 

The legislation at hand has bipartisan support and bill sponsors are hoping they can get it passed by the end of session. 

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