Patients able to get blood transfusions at scene of trauma for first time

Patients able to get blood transfusions at scene of trauma for first time

Patients no longer have to wait for life-saving blood transfusions until they get to a hospital.

Major haemorrhage is one of the top causes of major trauma but, until now, patients had to be brought to the hospital's emergency department to receive a blood transfusion.

St Vincent's University Hospital, together with the voluntary group, Wicklow Rapid Response, is now able to provide blood and plasma at the scene of a traumatic event.

The WRR vehicle and volunteer doctor is called simultaneously with the state services when a serious emergency occurs.

To date, the only method for pre-hospital medics to resuscitate bleeding patients was to use saline solution but it is not an ideal treatment because it does not carry oxygen or aid clotting.

Consultant in emergency medicine at SVUH, Dr David Menzies, said a small but important number of patients might benefit from the new on-site transfusion service.

Dr Menzies said other critical care services in Britain, Northern Europe and the United States already provided emergency blood and plasma at the scene.

“It's fantastic that we can now offer it here in Ireland for the first time,” he said.

Consultant haematologist at SVUH, Dr Joan Fitzgerald, said they had ensured that the on-site transfusion service was safe and that there was no wastage of blood products.

WWR, a declared National Ambulance Service asset, will carry red cells and two units of plasma to promote blood clotting.

Transfusing plasma in a 1:1 ratio with red cells is the best way to promote blood clotting.

When the blood is needed a portable unit, designed for out of hospital use, warms the intravenous fluids and blood products to body temperature in seconds.


More in this Section

Man arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find releasedMan arrested in connection with Dublin drugs and gun find released

Man reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached sceneMan reported stuck in mud ran off in his underpants as emergency services reached scene

Poll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcementPoll: Fianna Fáil sees surge in support following Taoiseach's election announcement

Hundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in BelfastHundreds of people attend People’s Vote rally in Belfast


Lifestyle

The Regal Cinema in Youghal, Co Cork, first opened its doors in 1936. Director John Huston used it as a base to review footage while filming Moby Dick in the town.We Show Films: ‘I once found a full rotisserie chicken in the cinema’

The biennial festival in Cork produced another unique feast of fine music and good vibes.Sounds from a Safe Harbour brings fine music and good vibes to Cork

Here are five things to check out in the week ahead.5 things for the week ahead

You have crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a ship to Ireland. You are tired and hungry and desperate to deliver your expensive cargo to port.Islands of Ireland: Horse, trading, and Drishane

More From The Irish Examiner