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Hundreds of lives were saved when paramedics from air ambulances administered emergency blood transfusions

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Data obtained by the Mirror from 13 of the 18 air ambulance charities that transport blood shows 541 patients received emergency transfusions in 2021. That number is up from 378 in 2019

dr Luke Banks at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance
dr Luke Banks at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance

Hundreds more lives are saved by air ambulances after a surge in emergency blood transfusions.

These have increased by 43% in three years and have created an urgent need for blood donors.

That’s why today we’re calling on our readers to donate a pint each and become a mirrorblood hero.

Data obtained by the Mirror from 13 of the 18 air ambulance charities that transport blood shows 541 patients received emergency transfusions in 2021. This is a sharp increase from 378 in 2019.

More air ambulances are being donated blood as evidence mounts that transfusions save lives on the ground.

It comes as a doctor described how he had no choice but to attempt open-heart surgery on a stab victim who was lying on the sidewalk 90 minutes from the nearest major emergency hospital.







Air ambulance paramedics have saved hundreds of lives
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Image:

GRIMSBY NEWS AND PICTURE AGENCY LT)

The woman had been stabbed in the heart. dr Luke Banks opened up her chest and reached inside to massage the organ while he repaired the stab wound.

The patient was given four pints of life-saving blood and eventually recovered.

Luke, 41, a consultant with Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, arrived at the scene in the early hours of the morning.

He recalled: “We were in a very rural area and she had to be on an operating table very quickly. She was dying.”

Luke worked on her injuries while paramedic Alex Walker administered an emergency transfusion of the two pints they were carrying.







dr Luke Banks in the ambulance
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Image:

GRIMSBY NEWS AND PICTURE AGENCY LT)

Alex continued, “Only 10% of these patients even survive long enough to get to the hospital. It’s almost non-survivable. Uniquely, we were able to access the patient’s heart before it stopped beating.

“You get a lot of information when you touch a patient’s heart because you can feel its strength. It was slowing down and not beating properly.”

30 minutes after the start of the operation, the heart started again. Luke then closed her chest with surgical staples.

The ambulance helicopter had been grounded that night due to inclement weather in Lincolnshire.

Luke and Alex drove her to a waiting surgical team at Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham and found she needed more blood, so a vehicle with two more pints met her on the way for Alex to do another transfusion.

He explained: “The patient had lost an enormous amount of blood. She really clung to life.

“Evidence shows that emergency transfusions are the right thing to do. The contribution of blood donors can make the difference between life and death.”

The NHS is short of 75,000 blood donors to recover from Covid. dr NHS Blood and Transplant’s Laura Green said: “Blood transfusions are an essential part of the emergency treatment of major bleeding. Any delay in transfusion can reduce the chances of survival.

“Therefore, the role of air ambulances in delivering blood transfusions at the scene of an accident is crucial. Air ambulance crews are constantly striving to provide even better patient care.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/hundreds-lives-saved-air-ambulance-26494942 Hundreds of lives were saved when paramedics from air ambulances administered emergency blood transfusions

Fry Electronics Team

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