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Devon Air Ambulance to carry blood plasma

It helps the blood to clot.

Devon's Air Ambulance can now provide additional life saving treatment. The crew will now be carrying LyoPlas - a part of the blood which helps it to clot. 

Nigel Hare, Operations Director for Devon Air Ambulance explains “In simple terms, blood is made up of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body, white blood cells which protect against and ‘eat up’ infection, and plasma, which amongst other things contains the clotting agents which helps blood to clot when you are bleeding.

All blood products, including plasma, need to be kept cold, but then warmed up to near body temperature immediately prior to administering to the patient. This has logistical challenges outside of a hospital, especially on a helicopter, so to help us to provide a safer and more reliable service we are now carrying a recent innovation, freeze fried plasma called LyoPlas”.

He added “If a patient is bleeding severely, giving them plasma provides them with additional support to enable their body to form and maintain blood clots to stem the bleeding.”

Nigel concludes “As medical technology advances, Devon Air Ambulance strives to ensure our patients benefit from the latest innovations to help provide them with the best chance of a successful outcome. Without our fantastic supporters none of these developments would be possible. We are particularly grateful to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and Devon Freewheelers in helping us to add plasma to the other life-saving treatments we are able to provide our patients.”


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