The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) is now hoping to save more lives thanks to the addition of plasma to help slow or stop ongoing bleeding for patients.
Since August 2015, the air ambulance team have delivered nearly 100 blood transfusions and they are now hoping to save even more lives with the addition of plasma (formally known as fresh frozen plasma [FFP]) which contains the vital clotting factors to slow or stop ongoing bleeding.
The GWAAC Critical Care Team will continue to carry 2 units of O negative blood but in addition they will now carry 2 units of plasma on-board both the helicopter and the critical care cars.
Any transfusion henceforth will be more balanced in replacing what the patient has lost. The charity hope that this addition to the service will help to save more lives.
In collaboration with The Freewheelers EVS and North Bristol Trust Transfusion Laboratory at Southmead Hospital, plasma will be delivered to the base at Filton airfield alongside the existing units of blood.
This has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Henry Surtees Foundation; the foundation founded by the late motorsports legend John Surtees CBE in memory of his son Henry.
Leonora Surtees-Martell, daughter of the late John Surtees said: “The Henry Surtees Foundation is delighted to support the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity with a grant of £15,000 to enable them to introduce plasma to the pre-hospital blood transfusion service.
“The service that they provide is vital and something which is continuously developing. The swift medical intervention provided by the Air Ambulance crews gives patients a far greater chance of survival and subsequent improved quality of life.”
GWAAC Chief Executive John Christensen said: “This is yet another example of GWAAC taking forward innovative developments of pre-hospital treatment.
“Having plasma on board will enable us to deliver the best care possible to every patient. I am really pleased that we are able to offer this and we are incredibly grateful to the Henry Surtees Foundation for their generosity.”