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Sunday 22 September 2019
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Blood on Board

Salford Royal supply blood for urgent roadside transfusions

Salford Royal is supplying blood for use on board North West Air Ambulance Charity’s helicopters, allowing urgent roadside transfusions to take place across the entire North West for the first time.

The Blood on Board partnership between Salford Royal, the North West Air Ambulance Charity, Blood Bikes Manchester and North West Air Ambulance Service (NWAS), 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.

With the NWAA 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.

Deborah Seddon, Haematology and Blood Transfusion Service Manager at Salford Royal, 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.”

Packed red blood cells and pre-thawed plasma will be supplied by Salford Royal and delivered by Blood Bikes Manchester in temperature-controlled boxes to the NWAA Charity Barton base each day. Any blood not used that day will be safely returned by Blood Bikes riders for use in the hospital, to ensure precious 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, Duty Manager at Blood Bikes Manchester, added: “Blood on board is an essential public service, and we are proud to work side-by-side the North West 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 need it.”