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Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance carries out 69 blood transfusions within a year of the service being made available

A blood transfusion
A blood transfusion

Almost 70 blood transfusions have been carried out on the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance a year after the service was launched.

In flight blood transfusions were introduced on February 4 2013 and 69 have been carried out by in flight doctors and paramedics since.

The charity’s research shows that a total of 160 units of blood were administered to patients who had life-threatening injuries with 20-29 year-olds being the largest group of recipients.

The figures also show that August was the peak period for blood transfusions, the youngest patient being aged under 10 and the oldest over 90.

In one case, a patient suffered chest, pelvis and spinal injuries following a collision with a car. His airway was partially obstructed and he was agitated.

The doctor and paramedic anaesthetised him at the road-side and performed emergency chest surgery to reinflate his collapsed lungs.

They then administered four units of blood at scene and en route to the Royal London Hospital major trauma centre.

Air Ambulance Clinical Manager Gary Wareham, who pioneered the launch of the blood transfusion service, said: “The project has gone very much as we expected and we are now seeing patients delivered to hospital who may not have survived the journey before.

“We are now considering using other blood products that may further improve patient outcomes.”

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