Hampshire/IOW Air Ambulance carries out first blood transfusion

Hampshire/IOW Air Ambulance carries out first blood transfusion

27-Apr-2014 Source: HIOWAA

On Thursday 17th April we carried out our first blood transfusion since we began carrying blood on board all flights earlier this month. The patient was taken to University Hospital Southampton following a road traffic incident in the New Forest.

Using technology first utilised by the British military in Afghanistan, we are able to store blood on board the helicopter at precisely the required temperature. The blood carried is type O negative, known as the ‘universal donor,’ which is safe to give to any patient. It is packed within a purpose designed cool box and electronically scanned to record patient details. The scanner prints a unique patient wrist band that ensures that the hospital team know that blood has been given, as well as the tracking details for the blood units. This data is wirelessly transmitted within the hospital onto the transfusion laboratory database.

Dr Liz Shewry, a Major Trauma Anaesthetist at University Hospital Southampton commented ‘HIOWAA carries a highly experienced team of consultant critical care doctors and HEMS paramedics who specialise in the rapid stablisation of patients at the roadside and subsequent transfer to the nearest trauma centre. Having blood on board takes us a step further towards bringing the hospital to the patient in the first crucial minutes after serious injury.’

SERV Wessex will transfer blood from University Hospital Southampton to our Air Base in Thruxton every 48 hours as a free service. HIOWAA Chief Executive John Perry commented ‘We are extremely grateful to SERV Wessex for giving up their time to help make this new development possible and for their commitment to helping save patient lives.’

University Hospital Southampton Blood Transfusion Department (UHS BTD) have been committed to this exciting development from the start and have agreed to supply blood three times per week. This involves strict checks of the blood to ensure it is compatible and quality control testing of the equipment to ensure that the blood remains safe whilst waiting the call to attend a patient. Any blood that is not used within 48 hours is returned to UHS BTD where it can re-enter their supply chain and therefore avoid any wastage of this precious resource.

Doctor David Sutton, recently appointed to the newly created role of Clinical Governance Lead for HIOWWA, commented ‘This important step forward for HIOWAA could not have happened without the dedicated support of the University Hospital Southampton Blood Transfusion Department (UHS BTD), SERV Wessex and of course, members of the public who make regular blood donations.’

, , , , , , ,

Copyright © 2023 HeliHub

Website by Design Inc

Helihub logo