High-Tech Coolers Help Treat Trauma Patients in North Texas

Coolers usually keep food and drinks cold but some are helping save lives in North Texas.

The coolers look like lunchboxes but inside you'll find blood and plasma for trauma patients being flown to hospitals.

"This cooler is the same cooler that the U.S. military trialed and uses in Afghanistan and Iraq. So they trialed this and kept blood products in it for long periods of time and have done the research on it," said PHI Air Medical flight nurse Paul Putnam.

Before, patients were given a saline fluid which nurses say increased volume but didn't carry oxygen.

"We're replacing vital components of the body that is needed to survive," Putnam said.

The technology has only been in use for the past month and already doctors say they've noticed a difference.

"What we see is when they arrive, they're more stable. They have less blood loss and their blood clots better," said Dr. Matt Carrick, director of trauma services for the Medical Center of Plano.

PHI Air Medical receives the blood and plasma from donations made to the Medical Center of Plano. It supplies helicopters based in McKinney, Denton, Arlington and Corsicana.

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