What is a routine task to some …

This was posted by our volunteer Janne on our forum this morning, and serves to illustrate that, though what we do daily might be regarded as routine, it has massive repercussions for the delivery of emergency healthcare in our area

Restocking the Air Ambulance with blood

KSS Air AmbulanceIt was an interesting run this morning, collecting last night’s absent second box from the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance at Redhill Aerodrome.

As I arrived at 8am, the whirlybird and its team were going through pre-take off routines, as the Kent machine based at Marden isn’t allowed to fly until 08:30, and there is an accident at Deal, which is 82 miles or an hour and a half away by road, but just 25 minutes by helicopter!

Orange overalls flashing – stand aside – all aboard – rotors whirring. The co-pilot jumps out again to check the warning light, which has come on. The wait seems so long, but all okay. Take off to about two feet, about face and full chuff due east to take off properly using the runway flight path and then pick up the motorway.

There were long traffic queues at all my traffic junctions en route to the hospital, which are normally clear in the evening when we restock the aircraft but now it is time for the school run and going to work.

Also no reply to the door entry at East Surrey Hospital. An employee lets me in with his pass card and I see our friends in the Blood Bank preparing blood for an urgent operating theatre requirement. Fascinating to watch but none of the usual banter today; just deliver the box, get the required signature and then out!

I frequently do this routine, short and local run, so it is easy for me to forget how important our contribution really is to the business of saving lives. What a timely reminder!

A volunteer from SERV Surrey & South London goes to Redhill Aerodrome at least once every day of the year, Bank Holidays included which means Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Easter Sunday as well, to restock the blood supplies carried on the Redhill aircraft. Our friends in SERV Kent do the same for the aircraft based at Marden.

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance attended around 1,900 incidents last year. They have an impressive success rate and it’s only possible because they have an assured supply of blood daily to carry out at-scene transfusions if and when required.

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