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Great North Air Ambulance Service Makes Use of Blood Plasma to Save Lives


Realizing the importance of timely blood transfusion for trauma patients, air ambulance aircrafts have started equipping themselves with emergency blood supply. The Great North Air Ambulance charity has gone so far as to carry plasma along with blood for emergency medical procedures. The air ambulance service, which had experienced a robbery in March, now keeps plasma to boost the blood clotting process. This is expected to improve chances of survival for patients.

Blood Plasma Put to Good Use

The Great North Air Ambulance charity has already started making good use of this emergency blood plasma. On 27th May, the crew attended to a motorcyclist who experienced serious injuries resulting from a collision with a car. They administered the plasma to the patient and then transported him to a hospital. This was only after four days of the service equipping its planes and choppers with plasma.

Plasma a Necessity for Air Ambulance Service

According to Dr. Rachel Hawes, the in-flight doctor of the Great North Air Ambulance, carrying blood has significantly improved the chances of survival for patients. However, almost 30% of trauma patients experiencing severe bleeding face difficulties forming blood clots by the time they’re taken to the hospital. They are in a condition called coagulopathy, wherein the bleeding gets out of control due to the difficulty in forming blood clots.

While many air ambulance aircrafts have started carrying blood for emergency transfusions, this may not be enough in cases of excessive bleeding. The plasma on board can help the air ambulance service in administering a more balanced transfusion to such patients. They can use equal volumes of plasma along with the red blood cells and prevent the condition from aggravating. Hawes mentioned that this move will ultimately help in saving patients’ lives.

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