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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Travis County EMS said it reached a considerable milestone last week with its Whole Blood Program when medics administered the 100th unit of whole blood for the system.

According to ATCEMS, the program, launched in 2021, was a collaboration between ATCEMS, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and We Are Blood, a nonprofit blood center serving Central Texas and the only provider of blood products in the region. The goal of the program was to make blood available to patients as close to the time of injury as possible.

ATCEMS said the program has grown to include carrying whole blood on three ATCEMS District Command units around the county.

“We know that every second counts when a patient is experiencing a life-threatening hemorrhage, and rapid intervention on the scene is quite literally the difference between life and death,” said Deputy Medical Director Dr. Heidi Abraham. “By administering blood products at the patient’s side, closest to the time of injury, we’re giving these patients the best possible chance of survival.”

ATCEMS said according to the most recent available data, 84% of patients who ATCEMS medics administered blood to showed marked improvement in their conditions during transport to the hospital, and 95% of patients who received blood transfusions in the field were still alive upon arrival to the hospital.

“As we look at patient outcomes, we’re essentially finding confirmation of what we anticipated when we started this program,” said ATCEMS Commander Paul Mallon, who oversees the Blood Program. “The numbers prove the value of having blood transfusions available in the prehospital setting, and it has unequivocally improved outcomes for our most critical patients.”

According to a release, ATCEMS was one of only a handful of EMS systems in the Texas that has the capability to administer blood in the prehospital setting.