Air Ambulance Now Carrying Vital Blood

20 February 2019, 10:05 | Updated: 20 February 2019, 10:11

NWAA North West Air Ambulance

For the first time North West Ambulance crews can carry out blood transfusions at the scene of call outs.

It's working with Blood Bikes Manchester, Salford Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Transfusion Service and North West Ambulance Service to provide the service which it says will save lives.

Paramedics and consultants working for the air ambulance have gone through comprehensive training to administer blood in the field, led by Salford Royal.

With the charity flying out to over 2,000 missions each year, many being major trauma incidents, the charity estimates two to three urgent transfusions will be required each week in the North West. Of those, patients with major trauma who are attended to at the roadside by enhanced care teams then have a greater chance of survival.

Salford Royal is supplying the blood which will be delivered by Blood Bikes Manchester, an entirely volunteer-run operation, in temperature-controlled boxes to the NWAA Barton base each day.Any blood not used that day by the air ambulance will be safely returned by Blood Bikes riders for use in the hospital, to ensure precious donations do not go to waste.

Deborah Seddon, Haematology and Blood Transfusion Service Manager at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Blood loss is a major factor in the survival of trauma patients, and anything that can be done to combat its detrimental effect could undoubtedly save lives. Our purpose is to deliver safe, effective treatment to patients across Salford, so we are incredibly proud to support the North West Air Ambulance Charity in delivering this service to people across the North West."