Florida Keys

Mid-Air Blood Transfusion May Have Helped Save Florida Keys Shark Bite Victim

The person suffered a large laceration on their leg after the incident near Summerland Key

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A person who was bitten by a shark in the Florida Keys received a mid-air blood transfusion while they were being airlifted to a Miami hospital that may have helped save them, officials said.

The person had jumped into the water from a boat near Summerland Key Wednesday afternoon and surfaced with a large laceration on their leg, Monroe County Fire Rescue officials said.

The people who were with the victim on the boat applied pressure and a tourniquet to prevent more bleeding while they brought the person to a nearby restaurant where fire rescue crews were waiting.

The crews brought the victim to the Summerland Key airport so they could be brought by Trauma Star to a Miami hospital.

While the victim was on the helicopter, they received a blood transfusion.

"According to Trauma Star staff, the blood transfusion onboard strongly contributed to the patient's status upon arrival in Miami," fire rescue officials said in a statement Friday.

Hospital staff confirmed that the person had been bitten by a shark based on the laceration, officials said.

Officials didn't identify the victim.

Trauma Star helicopters have been providing whole blood transfusions onboard since May 2019.

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