Whole Blood Resuscitation

The leading cause of death for children and adults  under 46 in the United States is hemorrhagic shock, more commonly known as severe blood loss. Traumatic injuries can happen to anyone during day-to-day activities such as driving. It’s estimated that every 48 hours a Colorado Springs citizen bleeds to death before they can arrive at a hospital. 


The pre-hospital transfusion of whole blood increases the chance of survival by

UCHealth in collaboration with CSFD and the Plains to Peaks RETAC will equip two ground ambulances in El Paso County to administer whole blood—the first program in the state.

While the military has utilized whole blood in the field since WWI, pre-hospital transfusions by civilian first-responders weren’t piloted until 2018 by the San Antonio Fire Department. Establishing a whole blood program with CSFD sets the stage for statewide adoption of this life-saving practice by 2030.

A community investment, this program will save the lives of your family, friends, and neighbors of the Pikes Peak Region.

Whole blood will allow us to provide something in the field that we have not been able to provide in the past. There are numerous calls over my career that as an EMS provider we do everything in our capabilities to give the Patient the best chance possible. We are at times limited without the right procedure or medication and are left seeing a patient deteriorate despite all our efforts. The ability to deliver whole blood to a patient in shock may be the only thing that gets them to the hospital for further care. Whole blood in the field will impact our community in a positive manner, giving more patients a chance to recover from their illness or injury.  

Joey Buttenwieser

Medical Division Lieutenant, Colorado Springs Fire Department

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