Blood will now be on board air ambulance

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THE air ambulance helicopter will now be carrying blood on board each of its flights.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) service has said for patients with serious injuries, the most common causes of death before reaching hospital are problems with getting oxygen into the lungs or significant blood loss.

The air ambulance team has been able to oxygenate the lungs, but has not been able to replace blood loss.

But now the HIOWAA has begun carrying blood as part of a national trial.

It will carry type O negative blood, known as the ‘universal donor,’ as it is safe to give to any patient.

Dr David Sutton, clinical governance lead for HIOWAA, said: ‘This important step forward for HIOWAA could not have happened without the dedicated support of the University Hospital Southampton Blood Transfusion Department, Serv Wessex, which will transport blood, and of course, members of the public who make regular blood donations.’