Blood Transfusion

In 2012 London’s Air Ambulance became the first in the UK to carry blood on-board. Seven years on and a total of eleven air ambulances including: Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance now all have the facilities and capacity to store blood on-board. As a result, first responders are able to administer life-saving blood transfusions to pre-hospital casualties at the scene of a major trauma or accident.

The role of blood in the body is vital for regulating temperature, PH and delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues. Red blood cells are comprised of haemoglobin and these cells transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, white blood cells fight off infection, whilst platelets aid blood clotting. Therefore, when this unique system is interrupted by a trauma or injury, a blood transfusion may be necessary to save a person’s life.

During transport blood is stored in specialised thermostatically controlled cool boxes for a period of up to 72 hours. Such a development has meant that, when time is limited in an emergency situation, hospital level care can be given to a patient with significant blood loss resulting from trauma injuries, thereby improving their chance of survival considerably. Blood transfusion equipment typically costs around £2,000 and funding for such important medical apparatus is still needed. There are many ways in which you can get involved to help support the life-saving work of air ambulances around the UK.

To find out how, simply click the link and make a difference today: your support is appreciated!