CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF-TV) - If you suffer a trauma where loss of blood is an issue, your chances of survival just got better with a new drug carried on Life Force Helicopters.
Erlanger Hospital and Trauma Center announced the use of the drug, and a new device to warm blood and fluids.
It's now on Life Force helicopters. The drug is transexamic acid, or TXA.
Paramedics are now using it to control clots, and to stop dangerous loss of blood after a trauma.
DR. DONALD BARKER "We begin blood resuscitation actually in the field. If somebody's bleeding ...then our protocol are designed so that we start administering blood to the patient before they get to the hospital."
The hospital has used the drug in the emergency for some time, and now its playing a new role.
DR. DONALD BARKER, LIFE FORCE MEDICAL DIRECTOR "If you're bleeding and you form clot..and it doesn't break down as much. That's why we need to give it pretty early..when ever we do give the drug."
That protocol is combined with a blood and fluid heating device also carried aboard the helicopter. It's demonstrated here using colored water.
STACY PRATER, PARAMEDIC "Anybody that's getting a lot of fluid resuscitation, where they're getting a lot of IV fluids..or any blood products ..We always put it through this blood warmer."
The blood warmer, plus TXA can increase chances of survival by 30%.
It proved successful in treating troops on the battlefield in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
DR. DONALD BARKER, LIFE FORCE MEDICAL DIRECTOR ".....its been found to really reduce the death rate from severe trauma."
The drug will be on 4 Life Force Helicopters.
That blood-warming technology is used primarily by the military.
But Life Force is the only civilian air medical program in the country now using it.