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Blood transfusionDoctors and paramedics at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance have performed nearly 70 emergency blood transfusions since the service was first launched a year ago today (February 4th).

Figures show that during the last 12 months the advanced medical procedure – usually performed after a patient arrives at hospital – was carried out 69 times at the scene of an accident or medical emergency.

The charity’s research shows that a total of 160 units of blood were administered to patients who had life-threatening injuries with 20-29 year-olds being the largest group of recipients.

Air Ambulance Clinical Manager Gary Wareham, who pioneered the launch of the blood transfusion service, said: “The project has gone very much as we expected and we are now seeing patients delivered to hospital who may not have survived the journey before.

“We are now considering using other blood products that may further improve patient outcomes.”

The figures also show that August was the peak period for blood transfusions, the youngest patient being aged under 10 and the oldest over 90.

In one case, a patient suffered chest, pelvis and spinal injuries following a collision with a car. His airway was partially obstructed and he was agitated.

The doctor and paramedic anaesthetised him at the road-side and performed emergency chest surgery to reinflate his collapsed lungs.
They then administered four units of blood at scene and en route to the Royal London Hospital major trauma centre.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance last year became one of the first in the country to start carrying blood.

Every day, bikers at the Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) deliver eight fresh units to each of the helicopter bases from the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford and East Surrey Hospital at Redhill.

SERV secretary Mel Johnson said: “The air ambulance has been a pleasure to work with over the last year. The daily replenishment and emergency re-supply services provided by the SERV groups in Kent and Surrey have helped ensure that both helicopters are always fully stocked and ready to respond.

“We are proud to have played our part using equipment funded by The Henry Surtees Foundation to ensure that the people of the three counties have been able to receive the highest standards of critical care available, provided by a triumvirate of charities working together with a common goal.”

The Henry Surtees Foundation also supplied cars for the blood runs in addition to equipment used to store blood at the correct temperature and warm it to give to patients.

John Surtees, OBE, founder of the Foundation, said: “I spent a lifetime in motorsport where every second counts. The same factor plays a vital part in saving life and injury.

“The Henry Surtees Foundation was very happy to work with all the team at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in assisting with the introduction of the blood transfusion service.”

* If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk

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Medway Council’s Trading Standards team are urging local businesses and residents to be extra careful when buying food supplements that claim to burn fat.

Across the country a number of deaths have been connected with the consumption of supplements containing 2,4 Dinitrophenol, sometimes referred to as ‘DNP’. This is a product unfit for human consumption and should not be sold as food.

However, it is available online and has been found being sold under the counter at some gyms in other parts of the UK. Read More

The Stroke Association is calling on South East people to get their nominations in for the Life After Stroke Awards (LASA) before the closing date on 1 March. With over 170,000 people living with the effects of stroke in the South East, the charity is seeking nominations to honour the stroke survivors, carers, organisations or groups who have shown dedication, determination and courage in the world of stroke.

The ceremony will take place at London’s Dorchester Hotel on 26 June 2013. Nine categories including Adult Courage, Creative Arts and Fund-raiser of the year will be presented by a host of celebrities.

This year the charity is welcoming the first patron of the awards, ‘Apprentice’ star Karren Brady. Karren said; “I was in danger of having a stroke myself and so this is a cause that is very close to my heart. I’m still at very high risk and know how frightening the condition can be. A stroke happens in instant but its effects last a lifetime. The Stroke Association is doing great work supporting people affected by the condition and celebrating life after stroke. “I am thrilled and delighted to be the first LASA Patron and am calling on everyone affected by stroke to nominate someone they know for these very special awards.”

Celebrities attending the event included TV’s Angela Rippon, rugby star and stroke survivor Michael Lynagh and Olympic medallist Shelley Rudman. Katherine Staley, from the Stroke Association said: “As stars of stage and screen are being honoured for Oscars, BRITs, Grammys and BAFTAs, this is the chance to shine the spotlight on stroke survivors, their carers and professionals working in the world of stroke to celebrate some of the amazing achievements made.”

You can make your nomination online at http://www.stroke.org.uk/LASA. Alternatively, you can call 0207 566 1540 or email lasa@stroke.org.uk and we can send you a form in the post.

I was surprised to learn exactly how far back into history research and experiments into the ways blood works and moves in our body goes. It was in 1628 that William Harvey, More

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