Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) is always trying to break barriers to bring innovative technology to the patients who need it most. Over the past few years our innovation has helped save many lives in the Thames Valley region.

Read more about our innovation and development below.

Plasma
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Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) was the first HEMS unit in the country to use plasma on board for critically injured trauma patients.

Blood is made up of two major component parts; red blood cells and plasma. Until recently TVAA carried packed red blood cells on board. Plasma has not been carried previously due it being frozen and having a short shelf life. Modern techniques and equipment have now made it possible to carry both. Red blood cells are important as they carry oxygen, whilst plasma is vital as it contains the necessary clotting factors that allow significant injuries to heal and stop bleeding more quickly.

Current evidence and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have now recommended that if a patient is severely losing blood, they should receive both red blood cells and plasma. This clinical intervention has been shown to greatly increase the chances of such patients to survive the initial trauma.

This life saving critical intervention was only made possible by working together with the Haematology/Blood transfusion service at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. Forming multi-disciplinary partnerships with the local Major Trauma Centre has significantly improved trauma care for patients within the Thames Valley region.

Clinical Research & Audit
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Pre Hospital Emergency Medicine is a relatively new sub-speciality in comparison to the traditional specialities such as medicine and surgery. Research is pivotal to making sure that we provide the best of care that is “evidence based” for our patients.

With this mind we are making sure that Thames Valley Air Ambulance has a strong research grounding and involvement in the future.

We have formed research partnerships with Oxford University NHS Trust and the John Radcliffe Hospital. We are one of the few air ambulances in the country to be involved in data analysis. 

The Board and Trustees of the TVAA wish to encourage Audit and Research activity by its staff and have earmarked funds to be used for this purpose, particularly to encourage these activities by those new to audit and research, but without excluding those already familiar with them. The funding will be given following receipt of a project outline, which should include estimated costs and time requirements.