Blood Product in the Sky

Mar 3, 2020 | Lauren Brown | @laurenbrown


With eyes wide open, the Marketing and Recruitment Team from the Blood Donor Program stepped out onto the helipad. With breathtaking views of the Downtown Rochester, it’s hard to imagine this beautiful space as a place where so many people land with traumatic and life-threatening injuries.

In speaking with Rob Brundige, a Mayo One Flight Nurse, he was quick to mention the importance of blood product. Mayo One carries six units of blood product on their aircraft with each trip. Without this blood product, Rob states that his job would be exponentially more difficult.

According to Rob, there are regulations involved with the blood product that Mayo One carries. The cooler used to carry blood products is validated to carry 4-6 units of blood to adhere to regulations and temperature control. In addition, there is a strict rotation with the blood product itself. This rotation is in place to ensure that any blood product that has not been used within a certain time frame can be redirected back into Mayo’s supply for use before it goes to waste. This process involves a special refrigerator system that is temperature controlled and monitored 24/7.

Having access to the Mayo Clinic and its top-notch healthcare is something that tends to be overlooked and underappreciated within our community. We are so fortunate to live so close to a facility that provides medical miracles daily, but it's become so common and natural to us that we often take it for granted. One of the unparalleled characteristics of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program in Rochester is that all blood product collected here goes directly back to our patients and their needs. This is quite rare as far as blood banks go—oftentimes, blood product is purchased and distributed to local hospitals and neighboring communities.

With this being said, Mayo Clinic has the unique capabilities to allocate some of our product to resources such as Mayo One. Mayo One falls into a small category of Helicopter providers with the ability to carry blood products, because of this, the Rochester area and surrounding communities are extremely fortunate to have access to Mayo One.

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