Blood “Vending Machine” Debuts at Plano Hospital

Blood coming from a vending machine: no, it's not a Halloween trick – it's an innovative new piece of technology that debuted at The Medical Center of Plano Monday.

The BloodTrack Emerge machine is stocked with blood bags and kept in the hospital's emergency department.

Instead of running to the blood bank when a trauma patient comes in, doctors and nurses will be able to scan their badge and receive a blood bag right from the machine.

"Every second counts when you're trying to take care of those trauma patients," said surgeon Mark Tucker. "Every second feels like a minute or 10 minutes."

On average, potentially 30-40 trauma patients a month at The Medical Center of Plano require blood transfusions or blood products during their "golden hour," which is the critical one-hour time period following a traumatic injury.

The machine is the first of its kind used in Texas, according to the hospital, and costs between $70,000 and $80,000.

When fully stocked, it can serve up to eight patients.

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