Great North Air Ambulance carries blood for transfusions

Blood team Image copyright GNAA
Image caption Severely hurt patients will be able to receive blood on the flight to hospital

Blood is to be carried on a helicopter ambulance for in-air transfusions in a bid to save more lives.

Using technology honed by the British military in Afghanistan, the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAAS) will run the new service throughout the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.

Around 50 people die in the region each year from blood loss in accidents, crashes or assaults.

The charity hopes to reduce that number by giving quicker transfusions.

Newcastle Hospitals' Major Trauma Service is also helping to run the service.

Only a handful of air ambulance charities in the UK carry blood stocks.

A spokesman for Newcastle Hospitals Trust said: "This new collaboration will help trauma specialists working with GNAAS and the Blood Bike groups save even more lives, by delivering emergency O-negative blood directly to the scene of life-threatening accidents.

"From now on this could be on a road-side, on a hill-top or in a remote community, rather than having to wait until they arrive at the emergency department."

More on this story