We were the first to provide helicopter blood in MA. It was a long process, but we've simplified it as much as possible.
Our primary supplier in MA is ARC. They would not perform the ABO / Rh retype for Boston MedFlight (BMF). The products come to us. We went with O Pos RBCs. We have our own donor center but are not licensed, so chose to get them irradiated from ARC as they will travel outside of the state. That was OK for a couple of years, then we started adding bases and liquid plasma. We contacted FDA and learned we were allowed to irradiate the plasma, so they now have that too.
We worked very closely with BMF in setting up their program, they were the greatest bunch of people to work with. They have a blood bank fridge and freezer at each base and are using Credo coolers. We worked with them to perform validations on the products stored on the ground and air ambulances. All coolers maintain temp far past 12 hours. They swap out the coolers every 12 hours. We were concerned this might be considered storage more than transport, so they now monitor all coolers 24/7. They have Wi-Fi on the helicopters. They return the RBCs if they get too close to their outdate. The plasma we do not want back as we do not use this product in our hospital. They sell it to a fractionator.
We've been inspected by TJC since we've gone live, and the survey went fine. We had a virtual inspection with FDA in July, no comment as of yet. AABB chose not to go out to any of the bases.
They have transfused a lot of products making this a very successful program.