Air ambulance can now deliver life-saving blood plasma across Nottinghamshire

Air ambulance doctors and paramedics who operate throughout Mansfield, Ashfield and the wider Nottinghamshire area are now delivering life-saving blood plasma on scene, thanks to a £24,000 boost.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 6:51 am

Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance (LNAA) received a £24,000 gift from the Henry Surtees Foundation to pay for the plasma for the next three years.

The foundation supported LNAA in its Blood on Board project in 2017 with more than £16,000 and an audit of on scene transfusions since then showed the need for plasma – which is now being carried on one helicopter and in critical care cars – and will be on board a second helicopter from Monday (June 21).

LNAA doctor Tom Eckersley, who leads the project, said: “Plasma makes up approximately half of our blood, the other half being mostly red blood cells.

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Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) has launched its blood plasma project.
Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) has launched its blood plasma project.

"Importantly, plasma contains the components of blood that help it to clot.

“We cover 3,500sq miles so a bleeding patient can be a long way from a major hospital capable of dealing with their injuries.

"With that in mind, we wanted to be able to deliver both these components of blood at the scene to save more lives.”

The doctors and paramedics on board the helicopter or critical care cars carry out hospital level care beyond the walls of the hospital, including blood transfusions, putting patients to sleep and even carrying out heart surgery.

Lincoln County Hospital supplies LNAA with the plasma and the Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bike Service, which already volunteers to ensure LNAA has blood on board its helicopter and critical care cars, safely handed over the boxes of plasma at the charity’s new HQ off the A15.

Any unused plasma will be returned to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre as the nearest Major Trauma Centre, by the Notts Blood Bikes.

The Henry Surtees Foundation’s Leonora Martell-Surtees said: “We are delighted to support Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance with their fresh frozen plasma initiative, which will help them to increase the capacity of their operation over the next three years.

“The incredible work that these teams do is remarkable, and it is only through donations that they are able to expand these services and ultimately save more lives.”

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