Blood needed in more than one rescue a week says air ambulance service for Bucks and Milton Keynes

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Air ambulance crews serving Bucks and Milton Keynes give blood transfusions to more than one person a week as they respond to emergencies across the region.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance has released new figures to mark World Blood Donor Day tomorrow, June 14.

The figures show that, in the past year, 65 patients have received 182 units of blood products.

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Since the charity became an independent healthcare provider in 2018, it has given 484 units of blood products to 176 patients in life-or-death situations.

Clinical shift manager Neil Plant is a regular blood donorClinical shift manager Neil Plant is a regular blood donor
Clinical shift manager Neil Plant is a regular blood donor

Seeing the difference donated blood can make to patients whose life hangs in the balance inspires many Thames Valley Air Ambulance paramedics and doctors to become donors themselves.

Clinical shift manager Neil Plant is a regular blood donor.

He said: “When someone is seriously ill or injured, they need the best possible care there and then.

"Not only do we bring advanced equipment, drugs and expertise to the scene, but our helicopter and critical care response vehicles carry units of red blood cells and plasma, which supports frontline treatment of major blood loss.

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“We deliver hospital-level care, wherever and whenever it is needed. When every minute matters, having blood on board could make all the difference.”

Getting blood to the patients who need it most is a real team effort, and the crew couldn’t do it without the work that goes on behind the scene - from partner Leaseplan who donated the charity’s blood services vehicle, to the blood delivery assistants who collect vital blood supplies from the John Radcliffe Hospital, to the public who fund every mission through their donations, as the air ambulance receives no government or lottery funding.