The North West Air Ambulance can now perform life-saving blood transfusions in Salford for the first time thanks to a new Blood on Board partnership.

The air ambulance paramedics, led by Salford Royal Hospital, have been trained to administer blood on accident sites in a bid to save more lives.

The hospital has provided the vital training for the initiative and will also be providing the blood for the procedures.

The air ambulance attends more than 2,000 emergencies a year, the majority being major trauma accidents, and an estimated three urgent transfusions are needed each week.

The project, funded by Kent-based charity Henry Surtees Foundation, supports people that are injured in accidents.

The charity was set up after John Surtees lost his son Henry at age 18 to a Formula 2 accident in 2009.

Trustee Leonora Martell-Surtees said: “I think in terms of the reach of this project it’s absolutely massive. When we’ve had figures back from other air ambulance charities in the past you’re looking at up to a hundred people per year that are having this equipment used on them.”

She added: “So it can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Other charities, such as Blood Bikes Manchester, will also be aiding the ambulances by transporting the much-needed blood between the hospital and air ambulance.


Leonora said: “We’re really happy that we have been able to partner with North West Air Ambulance.”

She continued: “It’s such a valuable project because as a charity what we focus on is partnering with other organisations and individuals and supporting their rehabilitation back into the community when they have suffered from accident and injury.

“It was a no brainer because it works really well with our charitable aims and when we were approached by North West we were really happy that we could help with their blood on board project.”




Clint Jones, consultant anaesthetist at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, told the service: “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.”

She added: “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.”

These life saving procedures are now being used all over the North West by the air ambulance service. To help the North West Air Ambulance Service, and these other vital charities alive then you can donate in supermarkets or sign up for a monthly donation.

For more information on the project click here.

Image credit: Megan Chapman

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