LOCAL CHARITIES BRING LIFE-SAVING TRANSFUSIONS TO THE ROADSIDE.
North West Air Ambulance Charity launch blood on board in conjunction with Blood Bikes Manchester and the Salford Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Transfusion Service.
From January 14th 2019, roadside and in-the-field blood administration will be possible across the North West as paramedics and consultants aboard the North West Air Ambulance Charity (NWAA) introduce blood on board its helicopters for the first time, in collaboration with Blood Bikes Manchester and the Salford Royal Hospital NHS Foundation 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 advanced paramedics and consultants have undergone comprehensive training to administer blood in the field, led by SRFT, further extending the service’s capability to bring the skills of an emergency department to the scene.
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 two to three times greater chance of survival.
The project brings together three vital local services for the first time, two of which are charity-funded. Packed red blood cells and pre-thawed plasma will be supplied by SRFT and 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 returned by Blood Bike riders for use in the hospital, to ensure viable donations do not go to waste.
Celebrating the medical collaboration of three local services, Clint Jones, consultant anaesthetist at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, commented: “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.”
Steve Deakin, Fleet Manager and Hospital Liaison Officer at Blood Bikes Manchester, celebrated the collaboration behind the initiative: “Blood on board is an essential public service, and we are proud to work side-by-side the air ambulance charity and Salford Royal to bring the project to life. Our team of volunteers understand just how important it is to get blood to patients quickly; traditionally, we’ve focused on the swift transport of donations and samples to hospital, and it is an honour to now be working to bring blood and plasma to patients wherever they may be.”
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.”
Clint continued: “After much preparation and planning, it is rewarding to launch the service on-board for the first time. Our thanks go the Henry Surtees Foundation for their incredibly generous funding, and our partners at Blood Bikes Manchester and the Salford Hospital Trust for making blood on board possible.”
Helimed 72 will have ‘Blood on Board’
Helimed 72 G-NWEM
(Barton Based) Pilot, Doctor and a Paramedic on board.
About the North West Air Ambulance Charity
The North West Air Ambulance Charity’s helicopters fly 365 days a year, with the doctors and paramedics on board providing rapid treatment and hospital transfers to patients across the entire North West region each year – an area covering 5,500 square miles and 8 million people. Since it launched in 1999, the charity has flown more than 17,000 missions across the region, with the ambulance called out an average of five times a day, rising to ten in summer.
Just as many critically injured patients would not survive without the service that the charity provides, the North West Air Ambulance would not be here without the support of its community of fundraisers and partners. The charity is completely reliant on public and corporate donations to keep the North West’s Air Ambulance Charity helicopters operational and helping to save lives, needing to raise over £8 million a year to support its lifesaving service.
For more information on the North West Air Ambulance Charity or to donate, please visit www.nwaa.net or call 0800 587 4570.
About Blood Bikes Manchester
Blood Bikes Manchester is an emergency volunteer service and registered charity that rides across the North West. Working alongside the NHS, the charity operates a fleet of motorcycles and support cars which transport blood, samples for testing and specialist support such as donor breast milk, to hospitals and medical care facilities. Founded in 2011, the service is entirely volunteer-run, making over 1,400 vital deliveries each year.
About Salford Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Transfusion Service
The Salford Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Transfusion Service (SRFT) provides haematology and blood transfusion services for Salford Royal Hospital, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust and Salford and Wigan GPs.
For more information, visit www.srft.nhs.uk/paws/haem-blood-trans/.
About the Henry Surtees Foundation
Founded in 2010 in honour of British motorsport star Henry Surtees by his father John, the Henry Surtees Foundation is a charitable organisation set up to assist people with brain or physical injuries caused during accidents. The Foundation seeks to help people return to community living, provides support equipment and facilities and promotes safety in driving and motorsports.