London’s Air Ambulance makes history as the first to carry blood on board

Victims of major trauma in London can now benefit from life-saving blood transfusions from London Air Ambulance medics carrying blood from today thanks to new technology also used by the British Military.

Aircraft and rapid response vehicles will carry specialist refrigeration boxes made by SCA Cool Logistics’ Credo containing four units of O negative emergency blood.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the "pioneering" scheme will be able to "save even more lives". (Image via London's Air Ambulance)

Until today medical teams have been unable to transfuse blood at the scene, instead relying on normal saline.However, unlike blood, this does not contain oxygen and some patients never make it to hospital.

Oxygen in blood is delivered to major organs, including the brain, and a transfusion pre-hospital may improve patients chances of survival.

Dr. Anne Weaver, lead clinician for London’s Air Ambulance, said: “London’s Air Ambulance constantly strives to deliver cutting edge medical care at the scene of the incident.

“For several years we have felt that there was more we could do for patients suffering from serious bleeding. We have always provided highly trained, expert teams to care for injured Londoners and today we are pleased to further improve our service by carrying blood.

“We are a charity and with the support of the communities we serve, this is an example of the life saving advances that London’s Air Ambulance can deliver. I honestly believe that “Blood on board” will allow us to save more lives in London.”

View the London’s Air Ambulance information video below:

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