Did you know we have blood and plasma on board all of our vehicles for emergency transfusions? This World Blood Donor Day, we’ve caught up with our new blood delivery drivers to hear what a typical day is like.
Our first job is to collect the blood our crew didn’t need to use yesterday. Blood is a precious resource and must be stored at a specific temperature to avoid wastage. Therefore, we will take the unused blood back to the John Radcliffe hospital’s blood bank. After thorough checks, all suitable blood will be used for the hospital’s patients.
Our supporters may see our new blood delivery van out and about! It was generously donated to us by our corporate supporters, LeasePlan and wrapped by Aura Graphics. Previously, our crew in our response cars collected the blood from hospital whilst on call. If a patient was in urgent need of their specialist skills, the collection of the blood could be delayed. Our new process of collecting the blood frees up our crew to just concentrate on providing advanced medical care to our community.
We’ve arrived at the John Radcliffe hospital with our special blood bags. These insulated bags have ice packs inside which keep the blood at the optimum temperature of 4 degrees. These bags are also used by the British Military!
Next, we visit the Transfusion Laboratory in the hospital. We are so thankful to the team of biomedical scientists for their continued support in getting us the blood supplies we need to provide our patients with the best possible care.
Here’s what’s inside our blood bags. There’s two packs of O negative blood and two packs of frozen plasma. Blood is given to patients who are bleeding heavily and who have very low blood pressure. In these instances, patients are often unable to get sufficient oxygen to their vital organs. The fresh frozen plasma is given as it carries the clotting factors which help to stop blood loss.
We’re back at base and here’s Lyndsey giving paramedic Mark the blood to put on board one of our critical care response vehicles.
There’s the helicopter in the background taking off. Should a patient unfortunately be in need of an emergency blood transfusion, the helicopter is kitted out with one of our insulated bags.