Since becoming the second Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) unit in the country to carry blood on board its vehicles in 2018, Thames Valley Air Ambulance has given nearly 300 units of blood to over 100 patients.
Thames Valley Air Ambulance is called to help the most seriously ill or injured patients. When someone is bleeding heavily, for example after a road traffic collision, they are often unable to get enough oxygen to their vital organs. The charity’s expert crews come stocked with both red blood cells and plasma, which helps to heal injuries and reduce bleeding.
In figures released to mark World Blood Donor Day, Thames Valley Air Ambulance reveals that 110 of its patients have received blood so far. 295 units in total have been given, including 141 units of red blood cells and 154 units of plasma. That works out at over 80 litres of blood products used to help people often in life-or-death situations.
Lizle Blom, Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) Doctor at Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said:
‘When a patient is seriously ill or injured, their life is hanging in the balance. Being able to give them the blood and plasma they most desperately need is one of the ways we fight to give every patient the best possible chance of survival and recovery.
‘Getting blood to the patients who need it the most is a real team effort - from our blood delivery assistants who collect the blood from the hospital to the crews on the scene. But the most important members of the team are our supporters, who keep us at the frontline of saving lives and help us to be the lifeblood of our community.’
To find out more or to support Thames Valley Air Ambulance, visit www.tvairambulance.org.uk or call 0300 999 0135.