SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - According to the Red Cross, the winter months are typically the toughest time to collect blood.
To help make sure patients who need blood the most get it in a timely fashion, New Hanover Regional Medical Center's AirLink helicopters are now carrying two units of blood during every patient transport flight.
Stored in specially designed coolers, the Type-O blood, which can be given to all patients experiencing severe bleeding, is cooled to safe temperatures for more than 48 hours.
Pre-hospital blood transfusions help increase 24-hour survival and decrease the likelihood of shock and total amount of blood patients need during stabilization.
To help boost the amount of blood available for patients, AirLink and the Red Cross will hold blood drives and promote awareness. Dates of those blood drives will be announced soon.