The FACT*R program came to fruition after a tragic accident in 2017 that took the life of a Loudoun County mother and critically injured her four passengers. On September 7, 2017, a large food truck that had been converted from a decommissioned school bus struck a passenger vehicle at the intersection of Evergreen Mills Road and Watson Road in Leesburg. The extreme impact from the crash left the passenger vehicle and its occupants heavily entrapped underneath the bus. First responders on the scene recognized that the extrication would be lengthy and made the lifesaving decision to get blood brought to the accident scene from area hospitals. As firefighters worked tirelessly to free the family, paramedics were able to reach the patients inside the wreckage and provide much needed blood to the most seriously injured. From that tragic incident, the concept of the regional FACT*R program was created to formally request blood on demand to an emergency scene.
Carrying whole blood on vehicles was the next logical step in the FACT*R (Field Available Coordinated Transfusion Response) program that began in 2019 through a partnership with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services, the Northern Virginia EMS Council, and Inova Health System.
On September 2, 2020 the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System took an important and innovative step forward when it began having EMS Supervisors carry whole blood on their units, so it can be delivered on scene. This new service greatly increases our capabilities to save lives. Carrying “forward-deployed” whole blood required research, training, policy development, new equipment and further partnership with regional hospitals and other stakeholders. All aspects of the program including temperature-controlled storage, logistics, tracking and on scene delivery must adhere to strict regulations.
Resources to Learn More About FACT*R
- Loudoun Becomes One of First EMS Agencies in the Country to Carry Whole Blood by Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, September 15, 2020
- FACT*R Podcast by Antidotes, Stories in Medicine, June 24, 2019 featuring Dr. John Morgan, Operational Medical Director for Loudoun County Combined Fire & Rescue System and Stephanie Boese, RN, MSN, CCRN, TCRN, Trauma Program Manager for Inova Loudoun Hospital
- Va. First Responders Can Now Deliver Blood to Trauma Patients in the Field (Link to External Site) by EMS1, April 3, 2019
- Tragic Death Brings to Life a New, Innovative Model for Out-of-Hospital Blood Transfusions by Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, March 29, 2019
Sign Up to Donate Blood
The success of the FACT*R program is directly impacted by the availability of blood from Inova Blood Donor Services. “Blood products donated through Inova stay local, right here in the Northern Virginia region, so your donation is truly an example of neighbors helping neighbors,” says System Chief Keith H. Johnson. LC-CFRS encourages you to make a lifesaving appointment to donate at one of Inova Blood Donor Service's upcoming community blood drives by visiting InovaBloodSaves.org.