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National Blood Donor Month

by Lux Joseph 28. December 2014

Next month don’t be surprised if you see a blood donor van at your neighborhood supermarket. Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Blood Donor month. President Richard Nixon introduced the proclamation and stated, “With the advent of the New Year, it is appropriate and timely to pay high tribute to our Nation's voluntary blood donors for their generosity and to encourage more people-both women and men, and both the younger and the older-to join their worthy ranks by providing a steady and increasing supply of blood during each month of the year ahead.” The winter season can be one of the most challenging seasons for acquiring the amount of blood needed for hospitals and medical centers around the world. During the winter there is an increase number of illnesses, people traveling, and holiday schedules. It can also be a challenging time for donors to keep appointments because of the cold and snowy weather in the northeast and also the post-holiday schedules. We can expect to see an increase number of donor buses around towns to increase the number of blood donations.

Every day in our country, approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims. Approximately 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but current statistics show that less than 10% do. Those individuals requiring blood rely on that small percentage of donors to hopefully be enough to meet the needs. Unfortunately that is not always the case. While not every individual is eligible to donate, the preliminary requirements are:

  • Donors must be in good health.
  • Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent).
  • Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Eligible donors must have a current photo ID, preferably a valid driver’s license. If you are a high school donor and don't have one of these, another form of ID with your photo and proof of age is necessary.

A donor is eligible to donate whole blood every 56 days, or approximately eight weeks. However, it is important to know that some patients around the world need the other components just as much as they may need whole blood. There are four types of products that can come from whole blood donation: red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate. Out of one pint of blood, the whole blood can be separated into two or three parts, allowing a single donor to save up to three lives in a single donation. As a donor, you can also choose to only donate certain components. Plasma can be donated as often as once a month. Platelets can be given every seven days, up to 24 times each year. When you give through automation, also known as apheresis, you may be able to save more lives by helping people with specific blood product needs. Every 12 seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. Many people think that blood banks have a surplus of blood on supply for instances of scarcity, but that is a myth and not the case at all. From the moment an individual’s blood is drawn until the moment it is sent out to the hospital is three (3) days. Immediately after an individual’s blood is drawn it is sent to a lab. At that time it is tested and separated. Once the blood is confirmed to be clean and healthy, the blood is distributed to hospitals.

This upcoming January, Commercial Medical Escorts encourages you to participate in donating blood if you are able to do so. Consider some of these fast facts:

  • 4.5 million Americans receive blood transfusions each year.
  • 40,000 pints are transfused each day in the United States.
  • Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • A blood donation can save the life of cancer patients, accident, burn, and trauma victims, newborn babies, mothers delivering babies, transplant patients, surgery patients and others in need.
  • Much of today’s sophisticated medical care (transplants, heart surgeries, etc.) relies on blood transfusions. • Car accident and trauma victims may need as many as 50 or more red cell transfusions.
  • Severe burn victims may need as many as 20 platelet transfusions.
  • Bone marrow transplant patients may require platelets and red cells from more than 100 donors.
  • Blood products are perishable: donated red cells last only 42 days, platelets last only 5 days, and plasma can be frozen for a year.
  • State-of-the art automated red blood cell donation, Alyx (60.2 KB), allows donors to double their impact by donating two units of red cells in one visit. This is a month to remember how we can save lives.

Individuals do this every day around the world. Commercial Medical Escorts encourages individuals to participate in blood donation so that we can collaboratively continue to work towards achieving the highest amount of blood donation to save millions of lives at risk daily. By working together to advocate for effective blood programs and recruitment of donors, we can give hope - and blood - for those who give life.

References

Blood Facts and Statistics. American Red Cross. Accessed on January 13, 2014. http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-facts-and-statistics

Donation Process. American Red Cross. Accessed on January 14, 2014. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/donation-process

 

 

It's Official: CME is Accredited by: Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS)

by Joey 21. November 2014

Boca Raton, FL, November 20, 2014--Commercial Medical Escorts Inc. (CME) is among a very small elite group of medical escort services to received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS). As of October 29, 2014 CME is one of three medical escort programs to complete this process by demonstrating overall high quality of service consistent with the elements of accreditation standards and the professional judgment of the board.
 
Blake Yturralde, CEO/President said, "I cannot express how proud I am of the entire team at Commercial Medical Escorts. We would have never achieved this recognition without the help of everyone on staff."
 
Accreditation distinguishes this medical escort program from many other medical escort operators by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.
 
Status as an accredited organization means Commercial Medical Escorts has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by CAMTS. Less than 175 air medical or ground inter-facility transport service organizations across the United States are accredited by CAMTS. Not all air medical transport service seeks accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.
 
"We believe our patients deserve the best," stated Blake Yturralde, CEO/President of Commercial Medical Escorts. "When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that CAMTS, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility, process and procedures. It means we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible."
 
Working towards the CAMTS accreditation was a two year preparation process that included a comprehensive review of the company’s policies and procedures, on-site surveys, sell assessment tools, and evaluation of operation procedures. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.
 
"Going through the process challenged us to find better ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our responsibility is to strive to continuously improve the quality of care we provide," said Blake Yturralde.
 
The entire team at CME has vast knowledge and expertise in the industry. CME has taken medical transportation to the next level. CME has a natural talent when it comes to dealing with the public in a service industry. We have built a sturdy foundation upon basic principles of integrity, great service, teamwork, and patient care. CME defines everything one can ask for when choosing a medical escort provider.
 
 
About Commercial Medical Escorts
 
Commercial Medical Escorts (CME) is a leader in air medical transportation. We are dedicated to providing and maintaining superior patient care throughout all of our domestic and international air medical transports as a cost effective alternative to air ambulance.
 
When your patient is in need of domestic or international air travel and requires medical assistance, C.M.E. is able to provide that care. Whether being relocated or is stricken while on vacation, C.M.E. is there for you to arrange aeromedical travel assistance during this stressful time. C.M.E provides worldwide airline medical transportation services for assistance companies, hospitals, and private individuals around the globe. We transport our patient’s on a commercial airline with nurse or physician escort utilizing upgraded seating or international stretcher service. Our caring and highly qualified medical professionals deliver the highest level of medical escort services. We have worldwide coverage and have medical personnel strategically positioned around the globe to assist you in a moment’s notice.
 
About CAMTS
 
CAMTS is an organization of non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical transport services, with 21 current member organizations each of which sends one representative to the CAMTS Board of Directors.
 
The Commission offers a program of voluntary evaluation of compliance with accreditation standards demonstrating the ability to deliver service of a specific quality.
 
The Commission believes that the two highest priorities of an air medical or ground inter-facility transport service are patient care and safety of the transport environment.
 
Originally developed through an extensive public comment process and published in 1991, revised every 2-3 years, the Accreditation Standards address issues of patient care and safety in fixed and rotary wing services as well as ground inter-facility services providing critical care transports. Each standard is supported by measurable criteria to measure a program's level of quality.
 
 

 

The Unexpected Factor

by Lux Joseph 28. October 2014
Commercial Medical Escorts is privledged to have David E. Hogan, RN, EMT-P as a member of our medical escort team. David exemplifies one of the best medical escorts and has been with Commercial Medical Escorts since CME started. There isn't a month that goes by in which the office does receive a compliment or positive feedback from a patient that was transported by David. David has taken the time to share with us an experience he had on a medical escort mission to Tanzania and how he meets the challenges of this job with an open mind.
 
By: David E. Hogan, RN, EMT-P
 
Even with the best plans for every medical transport there are issues that come up from time to time.  I refer to these issues as the “unexpected factor” or, simply, the uF.  One has to remain calm, be flexible and communicate when they do appear.  This is the story of one such occurrence.
 
During a scheduled transport from Tanzania in Eastern Africa to Texas an unexpected factor occurred as a result of Mother Nature doing her thing.  Two days prior to my arrival in Arusha, Tanzania there was a heavy downpour of rain high in the mountains near the area of the Serengeti Plains.  Little did I know that this little event would directly affect my transport for the patient. 
 
The morning following my arrival in Arusha I was to be transported by ground to the patient’s location during an expected 3-hr roundtrip.  The trip began early on a beautiful morning in Africa.  After a brief encounter with an Arusha traffic jam, complete with cars, numerous motorbikes and herded animals including cows, sheep and goats we made our way out to the highway heading towards Karatu.
 
 
We passed miles of lush green farm and pastureland dotted with numerous Masai village homesteads. 
 
 

At approximately 2/3 of the way to Karatu my driver received a cell phone call notifying him that the one and only bridge to Karatu was washed away.  We immediately turned back to Arusha and I made contact with the company regarding this unexpected factor.  The driver had mentioned to me at this point that there was a small commuter airport near Arusha.  He then contacted his company to inquire about the availability of their services for our transport needs to reach Karatu.  During our return all the necessary arrangements were made and confirmation was received for my flight over and the return with the clients via the small commuter line.  We proceeded to the little Arusha airstrip and I quickly obtained a boarding pass for the flight to the Lake Manyari Airport, approximately 35-40 minutes from the medical clinic where the patient was being treated. 
 

After a short flight via a twin-engine prop plane I arrived to an awaiting driver.  He quickly made his way to the clinic as I noticed several areas where the flood waters had just receded.  Many of the streets were mud-covered and there was little traffic out. 

 
Shortly after our arrival at the clinic and my assessment of the patient we headed back to the Lake Manyari Airport for our flight, arriving some 10 – 15 minutes before the scheduled departure back to Arusha.
 

 

We quickly stored and secured their baggage and the medical equipment for the return flight and departed without delay.  During the short flight back we flew over the affected areas and could clearly see homes and roads washed away.
 
Safely arriving back at the Arusha Airport, we then made our way to the hotel for our overnight stay prior to an early morning departure the next day.  The original itinerary was resumed and we eventually arrived back in Texas many hours later.  Once we reached their home, which was the final destination, I assisted with the setup of the Oxygen Concentrator and gave instructions to both the patient and her spouse. She had a previously scheduled appointment with her doctor on the following day and she needed to have oxygen during the night.  That was the conclusion of a successful transport.   This with completed safely and without any further incidents after the initial uF regarding the washed-out bridge and roadway. 
 
The issue of this unexpected factor was handled calmly and without any delay in the remainder of the patient’s itinerary. In summary, even the best plans could have some unexpected factors appear.  One has to remember to exercise calm and proceed with due diligence, communicating the proper information so that a successful alternative can be reached.  This action is vital when our goal is to successfully complete our patient transports.
 
At Commercial Medical Escorts we do our best to prepare our escorts for any challenges or obstacles they may encounter during a journey, but as David has described to us, there are still things that happen our of our control. All of our escorts are trained to handle situations in a calm manner as David described. We believe in deliverying only the highest quality of service and this is accomplaished through excellenc training, high quality nurses, physicians, and paramedics, and an extremely effective operations team.
 

 

 

 

 


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