Rural Medicine

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

When someone who's injured or sick needs blood, medical providers can clot the blood or increase blood pressure to buy some time before they can get a patient to the hospital.

But when it comes down to it, LifeMed flight paramedic and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor base chief Angela Niemi says no amount of saline solution or clotting medication will save someone who needs a transfusion.

"You'll watch a person just kind of bleed out and die in front of you," Neimi said. "And there's nothing you can do." 

Courtesy of Ann Gihl, CALS Executive Director

In resource-constrained environments like rural Alaska, time and education can mean the difference between life and death. 

In mid-October of 2019 a PenAir SAAB 2000 airplane crashed and nearly fell into the ocean at Unalaska's Tom Madsen Airport.