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Air ambulance now carries life-saving blood supplies

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ROADSIDE and in-the-field blood administration is now possible in Warrington and across the North West for the first time.
Paramedics and consultants aboard the North West Air Ambulance charity (NWAA) have introduced blood on board its helicopters, in collaboration with Blood Bikes Manchester, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust Transfusion Service (SRFT).
The initiative has been funded by the Henry Surtees Foundation, a charitable organisation supporting those with physical injuries caused by accidents.
NWAA paramedics and consultants have undergone comprehensive training to administer blood in the field, led by Salford Royal, further extending the service’s capability to bring the skills and life-saving procedures of an emergency department to the scene of injuries.
The charity flies out to more than 2,000 missions each year, many being major trauma incidents, and it is estimated two to three urgent transfusions will be required each week across the region.
Patients with major trauma attended to at the roadside by enhanced care teams now have a greater chance of survival.
Clint Jones, consultant anaesthetist at NWAA said: “This is the first time the entire North West will have access to this life-saving in-the-field medical procedure. It is a proud moment for our charity, and our partners at Blood Bikes Manchester, the Salford Royal and the Henry Surtees Foundation.
“As a charity that relies completely on public and corporate donations to keep flying, the support and collaboration to make this project possible – from fellow charitable organisations – has been incredible.
“Our priority is to deliver emergency care from the air, bringing pre-hospital interventions to seriously ill and injured people no matter their location. Our crew are often called to treat patients suffering from major blood loss or internal bleeding, so the need for this on-the-scene intervention was clear; being able to administer blood there and then will give people precious time in the race to safely treat and transport them to hospital.”

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