The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) operate three air ambulance helicopters, which fly across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria regions in the UK. Relying on public donations to operate, the service provides pioneering pre-hospital care at the scene of accidents and incidents, rescuing hundreds of severely injured or ill patients every year.
The service wanted to introduce blood plasma onto an aircraft during a five-month trial, to increase survivability of patients in their care. In order to transport the plasma products aboard aircraft, the emergency response team needed to ensure the blood plasma was stored and transported at the correct temperature to ensure it remained intact and effective.
Plasma provides vital clotting components to help blood clots to form and to stop bleeding. Before the introduction of plasma, patients would be stabilized using blood transfusions by the GNAAS air doctor aboard the helicopter, and then receive plasma on arrival at a Major Trauma Centre.