16 Dec 2014

Rescue helicopters trial blood transfusions

1:35 pm on 16 December 2014

Auckland's rescue helicopters can now administer blood transfusions to critically-injured people at the scene of accidents or en route to hospital.

The new service is being given a three-month trial.

A medical doctor, Christopher Denny, said the first hour after a traumatic injury or medical emergency is critical.

He said research showed critically injured patients have a higher chance of survival if given a pre-hospital transfusion.

Mr Denny said blood would be transported in a mini cooler box that for safety and wastage reasons will be exchanged at Auckland Hospital's blood bank every two to three days.

The service - which is jointly led by New Zealand Blood Service, St John, the Auckland District Health Board and the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust - will be reviewed in March.

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