Photo: Dr Hudson pictured with the air ambulance’s “Best Research Poster”
Life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has won an award for its research into the first 10 months of carrying blood on board the helicopters.
Dr Anthony Hudson gave a presentation about the pre-hospital blood transfusion service at the world’s leading aeromedical conference AirMed.
It won “Best Research Poster” and a cash prize of 1,000 euros for the helicopter emergency medical service which relies almost entirely on donations.
Doctors and paramedics at the air ambulance performed 54 emergency blood transfusions in the first 10 months of the service between February and November last year with most patients being males involved in road traffic collisions.
The charity’s research was carried out by Dr Hudson, Dr Richard Lyon, Operational Support Manager Gary Wareham and medical student Steven Isherwood.
It showed that on average blood was given 85 minutes earlier than before the service was launched. Previously, the advanced medical procedure was performed later on in hospital.
Dr Hudson said: “This work is just one example of how the team at the air ambulance are constantly trying to improve and innovate in order to save more lives.
“Our aim is to deliver the best possible care to our patients and also share what we learn at events like AirMed with other Air Ambulance services around the world.”
The research also showed that each patient received an average of 2-3 units of blood and 10 of them were at night following the launch of a 24-hour flying service in September.
Every day, bikers at the Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) deliver eight fresh units to both helicopter bases from the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford and East Surrey Hospital at Redhill.
The Air Med conference is held every three years and was hosted by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance at the Brighton Centre in 2011.