Clinical Corner

We are pleased to announce that as of January this year we began participating in a medical trial at our Norwich Base. EAAA will be part of a randomised, controlled trial of pre-hospital blood products.

The Re-PHILL trial is a nationwide study run by Birmingham University Hospital, which aims to determine whether giving blood in a pre-hospital environment improves patient outcomes in a trauma setting. This is a blind trial where participants (our team at EAAA) will not know what product they are receiving; minimising the risk of bias in testing the treatment.

To take part in this trial we at EAAA need to receive daily provisions of blood or saline (salty water).  SERV Norfolk have offered to collect these products from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and deliver them to us by car or bike every day for three years to ensure that we can take part in this study, that could potentially save more lives.

There is currently no evidence to suggest either way whether giving pre-hospital blood products on scene will actually improve patient outcomes, and we don’t know if giving blood and plasma early in the course of injury aids survival. This trial, which we are performing with several other air ambulance services, including MAGPAS, will determine whether this strategy is effective or not.  This is an important trial, which will ensure we are giving our patients the best possible treatment on scene. All of our doctors and critical care paramedics are fully trained to administer both products.

SERV, a charity which is managed, run and operated entirely by volunteers, provides a phenomenal service specialising in transporting blood and blood products, samples, instruments, medical notes and donated breast milk for the benefit of NHS patients. Not only has SERV committed their time to do this, but the charity have been an integral part of the planning, logistical and testing process leading up to the agreement to take part in the trial. Without their commitment to this project it would simply not be possible to undertake, so we would like to say a big thank you to them.

We are pleased to be contributing to the development of pre-hospital medical care in order to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients. We are incredibly grateful to the EAAA team who have worked hard to ensure the smooth running of this project. We will update you on any outcomes from this project in the future.

Equipment Zone – Zoll Monitor

This is one of the most vital pieces of kit that our critical care teams carry, costing £34,000 each. Every patient is attached to the monitor, which measures vital signs, including; blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation. It also works as a defibrillator, carries out cardiac pacing and prints-out patient results.

Each patient is connected to the device and provided with continuous monitoring and assessment – staying attached to the monitor until they arrive at hospital, where their care is handed over to the hospital team. EAAA have six monitors – one for each helicopter, one for each rapid response vehicle (RRV) and a spare at each base. The monitors are replaced every five years, and we are looking to replace them early 2019.