In Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Purchasing a life-saving portable blood warming machine
Grant: £3,000
Fund: Kop Hill Climb Fund

Thames Valley Air Ambulance is one of the few air ambulance charities in the UK to carry plasma both in their helicopters and in other emergency response vehicles. Since 2014, they have carried O Negative red blood cells for transfusions and in April 2016 they introduced Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP), a vital clotting component of human blood, used to treat severe blood loss.

On-the-spot blood transfusions have been proven to significantly improve patient survival, but it’s vital to store blood at the correct temperature to make these life-saving transfusions possible.

With a £3,000 grant from the Kop Hill Climb Fund, Thames Valley Air Ambulance were able to purchase a new, state-of-the-art piece of equipment called a ‘QinFlow’. Blood and FFP must be stored at 4 degrees centigrade, but before it is administered to a patient it needs to be warmed to body temperature (37 degrees).

Time is of the utmost importance in critical cases and speed of transfusion is determined by the speed of the equipment used to warm the blood. The QinFlow is the only portable blood warming machine on the market that is capable of warming fluids from any input temperature to 37 degrees in 11 seconds, enabling immediate transfusion.

The QinFlow has helped to save lives and so the positive impact is being felt not only by patients but also their family, friends and the wider community.