News & Announcements

Fire and Rescue

Posted on: March 29, 2019

Tragic Death Brings to Life a New, Innovative Model for Out-of-Hospital Blood Transfusions

FACTR Program Joint LOGO

Inova Health System, Inova Trauma and Blood Donor Services, and the Northern Virginia EMS Council, in collaboration with the Fairfax County and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Departments, are proud to announce the launch of Field Available Component Transfusion Response (FACT*R), a field program that provides blood via 911 resources to entrapped trauma patients. FACT*R is a groundbreaking program that will provide lifesaving training and supplies to first responders, enabling a dramatic increase in the level of care they can provide in the field. The program keeps large-volume massive transfusion protocol blood products, a valuable and scarce resource, in hospital circulation and makes it rapidly available to the field when it is needed most. This revolutionary program is the first of its kind with this level of capability nationwide.

The FACT*R program was a direct result of a tragic vehicle accident in Loudoun County in September of 2017. A passenger vehicle carrying Erin Kaplan, her mother, and three children was struck broadside by a large converted food truck, heavily entrapping them in the wreckage. Firefighters immediately began cutting and prying the tangled metal away as paramedics provided lifesaving care to the trapped patients. Erin Kaplan had not survived the impact, and her mother and children were all critically injured. EMS personnel on the scene identified early on that this was not a routine entrapment and recognized these patients were going to need blood before being freed from the wreckage. Facing a three-hour extrication, a decision was made to request additional blood from Inova Loudoun Hospital and StoneSprings Hospital and have it delivered directly to the scene. As a result of this split-second decision, and the ability to transfuse blood products during the extrication process, the four critically injured Kaplan family members survived.

Immediately after this incident, representatives from both Loudoun and Fairfax Fire and Rescue departments, Inova Trauma Center, Inova Blood Donor Services and the Northern Virginia EMS Council began working to create a formal policy and procedure to get blood products to the patients on the scene of extended incidents. This collaboration resulted in the development of the innovative FACT*R program.

“In situations such as the Evergreen Mills Road accident where patients face extended extrication time, paramedics now have a policy and process in place to administer lifesaving blood products directly on the scene,” said Keith Johnson, Chief of Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System. “Although born from tragedy, the FACT*R program is a resource that will save many lives.”   

“FACT*R is a regional accomplishment available to all fire and rescue services in Northern Virginia. It will serve as a model for blood distribution and accountability. What this program demonstrates is the importance of collaboration across the continuum of healthcare. A patient’s hospital visit truly begins, not with registration, but when EMS arrives on scene,” said Craig Evans, executive director of the Northern Virginia EMS Council. “Thank you to those involved in our journey and for all of the hard work that made this dream a reality.”

This unique program highlights the importance of the emergency medical care first responders provide to their patients. “It is an honor to be part of such an innovative collaboration,” said Fairfax County Fire Chief John S. Butler. “The FACT*R program will undoubtedly improve trauma patient outcomes in Northern Virginia.

“Inova Blood Donor Services provides blood products to nearly two dozen hospitals and health facilities in the Washington Metro area. The unique FACT*R program will allow our donors to save even more lives. Our teams are proud to be part of this initiative for the community. We rely on generous blood donors who donate regularly, up to six times per year, to maintain an adequate, steady supply of blood for patients in our community.” said Terri Craddock, Senior Director of Inova Blood Donor Services. Donors can sign up to donate blood and be part of ensuring critical life-saving blood is available for patients in our community, including those requiring blood from the FACT*R program.

Through generous contributions from the Fredrick D. and Karen G. Schaufeld Family Foundation and Telos Corporation, the Council can fund the program launch in Northern Virginia. “This gift is in honor of the professional men and women of Loudoun and Fairfax who have made it their life’s work to provide care and comfort to our community,” said Fredrick D. Schaufeld. “Our only request is that these individuals occasionally take the time to look into their own mirrors to see the angels who walk among us.”

“I can think of no greater privilege than to provide the latest in lifesaving technology to those who so selflessly serve and protect our community,” said Telos CEO and Chairman John B. Wood. “We are proud to support our first responders by bringing a new level of innovation to the region’s EMS services.”


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