Pelican BioThermal, global provider of temperature-controlled packaging, says an increasing number of UK Air Ambulance Charities are deploying its Crēdo ProMed to protect and transport lifesaving blood products on board emergency response aircraft.
Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) first responders in Europe and globally are utilising the Crēdo ProMed medical transport bag which is designed to protect health sciences products. Pelican says this ensures lifesaving blood products can be used at the scene of emergencies, delivering critical pre-hospital care.
Being able to give a pre-hospital transfusion at the scene of an incident could be a lifesaving intervention for patients suffering significant bleeding and blood loss.
One of the latest air ambulance charities carrying blood in Pelican BioThermal’s Crēdo ProMed products is Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) in the UK. They join the growing number of air ambulance charities already deploying Crēdo ProMeds on board aircraft, including Great North Air Ambulance Service, London’s Air Ambulance Charity and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance carries blood supplies on board its helicopters and Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs). Since introducing blood on board they have carried out 48 transfusions. Scott McIlwaine, operations manager at EHAAT, says: “The decision to start carrying blood products on board our helicopters and RRVs was a major one for the charity, one which has significantly improved the care that can be delivered to patients.
“It was important for us to make sure that our critical care teams had the right equipment. That includes containers to ensure the blood is stored, transported and the correct temperature is maintained in the field for periods of up to 24 hours. After comprehensive research we selected Pelican BioThermal Crēdo ProMed transport bags,” adds McIllwaine.
EHAAT’s helicopters and RRVs carry packed red blood cells of type O Negative, meaning they can be used on any patient. When required, these are given with plasma, the other major component of human blood. Together these form a vital replacement for patients who have lost blood.
Dr Anne Weaver, consultant in Emergency Medicine & Pre-hospital Care with London’s Air Ambulance says: “When we arrive at the scene of a serious incident, we often find a patient losing a significant amount of blood. In these cases every second counts and, as the first UK Air Ambulance to carry blood on board, we see the vital importance of being able to deliver transfusions on scene, pre-hospital, any time of the day or night.”
Weaver went on to say: “After extensive validation carried out with the Transfusion team at Barts NHS Health Trust, we found the Crēdo ProMed transport bag to be the most suitable and have used them ever since. Carrying blood on board our aircraft and in our rapid response cars has undoubtedly been a big change and we continue to innovate to create the next generation of survivors in the capital.”
Since blood on board was introduced by Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) crews have administered more than 300 transfusions with the help of the Crēdo ProMed transport bag. Andy Mawson, Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) director of Operations, adds: “To those patients who need them, transfusions are a vital lifeline which only a few years ago would not have been available outside of hospital.”
“Without the right kit in place to protect those precious blood and plasma products, the procedure would be futile.”
Yorkshire Air Ambulance similarly utilises Pelican BioThermal’s Crēdo ProMed along with Crēdo Cube. Jez Pinnell, medical advisor for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, says: “In 2019, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance gave 28 patients’ transfusions at the scene of an incident. Having blood on board allows us to start the transfusion process at scene instead of waiting until the patient gets to hospital.
“The Pelican BioThermal Crēdo ProMed is a vital piece of equipment which ensures that the blood is thermostatically controlled and thoroughly protected at all times, so it is ready immediately for critically ill patients where every minute counts.”
Paul Terry, Pelican BioThermal’s director of Sales EMEA, says: “We are proud of the impact our innovative products are having on the rising number of air ambulance services using our robust and reliable temperature-controlled packaging products.
“The benefit of pre-hospital blood, protected in the Crēdo ProMed en route to scenes of trauma, continues to help save lives here in the UK and worldwide.”