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Victoria Fire Department leads new trauma care program

VICTORIA, Texas - The Victoria Fire Department is partnering with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center to promote a life-saving program for victims of trauma.

The Brothers in Arms campaign seeks to encourage men with blood type O-positive to make a quarterly donation of blood. Type O-positive blood is usable for patients with any blood type in emergency situations.

Beginning October 15, the Victoria Fire Department emergency medical responders will be able to transfuse whole blood in the field, and the life-saving step dramatically will improve survival rates for victims of trauma.

The Victoria Fire Department is one of the first cities in the nation to implement the system, said Fire Chief Robert "Tracy" Fox.

"One of our sayings in the Victoria Fire Department is ‘Lead the Way'," he said. "In order for first responders to save lives with the whole blood transfusions, they have to have a reliable supply of blood. Our mission is to preserve life and property with dedicated and caring service, and this program enhances our ability to achieve that mission."

Although Brothers in Arms is seeking blood type O-positive from men, donations also can be received by almost any patient.

The whole blood transfusion protocols are based on research done in the military which shows an up to 25% decrease in mortality rates for those with traumatic injuries according to Linda Rapp, Executive Director of Blood Operations at STBTC.

At the Brothers in Arms kickoff, Mayor Pro Tempore Josephine Solis told the gathered community and health care professionals that the blood transfusion program puts the City of Victoria at the forefront in transforming trauma care nationwide.

Victoria EMS Medical Director John McNeill summed it up well saying, "We're going to save lives."

The information in this article was sent in a press release from the City of Victoria.


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