SMMC and CCEMS partner for prehospital ground transport blood administration program

Monday, November 27, 2023

Program will serve as pilot for other West Virginia services

Cabell County Commissioner John Mandt; Cabell County Commissioner Kelli Sobonya; Steve Murray, Assistant Director, CCEMS; Julia Zeto, critical care director, CCEMS; Gordon Merry, director, CCEMS; Angie Swearingen, COO, SMMC; Brett Hall, lab manager, SMMC; Thomas Dougherty, MD, blood bank medical director, SMMC; Matt Brooks, director of clinical laboratory services, Marshall Health Network; Doug Middleton, blood bank supervisor, SMMC.

St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) and Cabell County Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS) have partnered for a prehospital ground transport blood administration program. The program is the first in West Virginia and will serve as a model for other services across the state.

The intent of the blood administration pilot program is for prehospital emergency services to carry whole blood or packed red blood cells for use in trauma patients in the prehospital setting. The blood is carried by CCEMS supervisors who are automatically dispatched to the types of calls that may require certain interventions, such as blood transfusions.

CCEMS is one of 116 agencies in the U.S. to have prehospital blood administration capabilities.

“Cabell County EMS has been a longtime, valuable partner in helping us provide lifesaving emergency care,” said Angie Swearingen, COO, SMMC. “This program allows us to enhance that care through providing lifesaving blood product resources when time is of the essence.”

“Whole blood is liquid gold in the trauma world and very difficult to obtain,” said Gordon Merry, director, CCEMS. “Working together with St. Mary’s, this program will allow us to utilize this precious resource through our trauma services.”

The prehospital blood administration pilot program is approved by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services. West Virginia is the first state to have statewide prehospital blood administration protocols.

Studies across the country have shown that prehospital blood administration has significantly improved outcomes for patients with hemorrhagic shock. Hemorrhage related to trauma is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people 46 and under.

For more information about SMMC Trauma Services, visit For more information about CCEMS, visit