20 January 2009

This is cool, and a little odd.

graphic

So this is Obama's new Presidential Limo.  Ugly as hell, but brawny, it is referred to colloquially as "the Beast," since it apparently does not have an official model name.   Armor-plated up the yin-yang, all sort of high-tech goodies (most of which are not revealed, of course), and just cool as heck, for a gadget guy like me.   Fun tid-bit -- only the driver's window opens, and that only three inches.  Makes sense; all the other windows are like five inches thick.

Here's the odd thing.  You notice in the above graphic (obtained via DKos) there is a blurb titled "Defense Accessories," which reads in part, "Bottles of the President's blood kept on board in case he needs an emergency transfusion."

Um, really?  

OK, I'll grant a little literary license -- I am sure it's not actually the President's blood for auto-transfusion, but just pre-crossmatched blood. 

But still.

It just seems bizarre.  Yeah, I know, I remember that episode of West Wing when President Bartlett got shot and they had to hustle him to the hospital and maybe it would have been good to have some blood if he needed it.   (And my memory fails me -- didn't something similar but more serious happen in real life in 1981?  I must be imagining it.)  

So I guess it's not totally paranoid.   It's hard to imagine the POTUS would ever be far enough from medical facilities that, should he need emergency care it would not be faster to drive him to the designated Presidential ER (there always is one, wherever he is) than screw around with trying to transfuse him in the field.   In fact, from a simple trauma perspective it would make better sense to have several liters of warmed crystalloid in the car.

The best argument I can think of for keeping crossmatched blood around at all times is that if something happened (God forbid) and they took him to the local ER, there would be safe, screened, crossmatched blood that they could bring in with him to more immediately transfuse, ensuring at least a temporary supply of blood and decreasing the delay to transfusion.

But still, wow.  

14 comments:

dm said...

Interesting post. One wonders whether they would also keep cross-matched blood for the President on Air Force One as well.

James said...

I can understand why, with all the weight of inches thick steel, but that thing is not making a quick getaway from danger. 0-60 in 15 secs would be considered slow as molasses for a low end family sedan. Though I suppose the chances of a high speed chase in the presidential limo is fairly low until Harrison Ford takes office in 2016.

Anonymous said...

I recall a hospital TV show years ago where the Secret Service commandeered hospitals along a pres parade route just in case. They also commandeered blood of the proper type at the hospital. Of course, a woman needed the blood, but the SS wouldn't release it until the parade had left its zone.

No idea if there's any accuracy there--just an interesting thought.

Mary Sue said...

Please God, let them never have to use any of the defense accessories.

little d, S.N. said...

another reason for the blood might be if there WAS an attack, and the car was pinned down temporarily, you could begin transfusing IN the car, which was secured, WHILE securing the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Anytime the president is in town - the hospital is already secured. The secret service sends an agent to the ER. Staff have been pre-screened etc. I don't think they're going to be starting IVs & transfusions in the CAR for goodness sakes. Even if they have a nurse or doctor stuffed in one of those defense accessory compartments, I can't picture an injured president in a moving limo getting an IV started. Unless he already has a precautionary PICC line?....
-whitecap nurse

Rogue Medic said...

I agree with whitecap nurse. Also, prehospital fluids have not been shown to improve outcomes, and may worsen outcomes. Dr. Hoyt has suggested that hypertonic saline is showing the best outcomes.

Maybe they carry the blood so that they can clone him. :-)

chuckr44 said...

I can't believe the armor is 8 inches thick. For one, with modern layered materials, it doesn't need to be. Two, it would be too massive to maneuver at all. You would have to slow to 10mph just to turn a corner.

Nurse K said...

If they're going to keep blood in the car, they better have the equipment to unthaw it. I call bullshit on that one. O-neg is waiting and ready at every hospital for him and everyone else who may or may not be bleeding out.

Anonymous said...

But we know that the police had samples of OJ's blood so that they could frame him. Maybe this is a similar kind of thing?

Jordan said...

I don't believe blood is carried on Cadillac One. It would make no sense for the reasons noted above. Also, at least one ambulance always travels in the presidential motorcade. Finally, that graphic is likely to be fiction, since it has other information that is either false (the drivers are trained by the Secret Service) or far too specific to have been leaked (details of the armor and performance).

Christine-Megan said...

PRBCs are only good for like 42 hrs. Unless they're trading the units out everyday, that's a lot of wasted blood.

Dragonfly said...

Having blood "known" to be safe is one thing (can't wait to see someone take hold of that and claim "president has special blood" or "regular blood not good enough" or something). Still, America is not exactly the Sahara desert (no offence to any Saharan hospitals), medical care would not be that far away. I would think it would be more of an issue when he travels overseas.
This could be spun into a good public health message "get out and donate blood, my fellow Americans".

Dragonfly said...

Oh, and imagine if some of the presidents blood went missing. Ebay? I mean, forget toast with Mary's image on it. (Or maybe he could be cloned, if life was a bad sci fi movie). Or heaven forbid, someone like Bryan Sykes would analyse it for which of the 7 Daughters of Eve was his foremother. Gaah.