Celebrating six months of #BloodOnBoard

21 October 2019

Why we held a blood drive

In September we celebrated six months of carrying blood supplies on our helicopters and Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs). To mark the occasion, we thought it would be fitting to host a blood drive.

We held the blood drive at JobServe Community Stadium, Colchester, where two of the Colchester United FC players kindly joined us after training to donate. Paramedics from East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Volunteers from Essex Voluntary Blood Service also joined us to show their support and make their donation.

20 of the 55 staff, volunteers and supporters were brand new blood donors! We hope these newbies left feeling proud and keen to donate again.

It’s so easy to give blood!

We can assure you that giving blood is not scary! Here’s what happens:

  • Read the ‘welcome leaflet’ whilst drinking a provided pint of water or squash.
  • Run through your ‘donor health check form’ and complete an iron test, where the Phlebotomist (a person trained to draw blood) takes a sample of your blood from your finger.
  • You then move to the donor chair, where the Phlebotomist uses a blood pressure cuff to find a veins to draw blood from.
  • They then clean the area and the needle goes in – a sharp scratch for a second and then the blood starts flowing!
  • You have to keep active during the time it takes to collect almost a pint of blood. This process takes up to 15 minutes.
  • A plaster is applied which you have to keep on for about half an hour.
  • Then you have free reign to replenish your blood sugar levels with biscuits, crisps and water or squash.

The process is over within 45 minutes and your donation can help up to three patients.

#BloodOnBoard facts

We carry packed red blood cells of blood group O Negative, meaning they can be used on any patient. However, those with the blood type O Negative can only receive O Negative – so it’s a very precious commodity!

Up to October 11th:

  • 22 patients given a potentially life-saving transfusion.
  • 28 units of blood used.
  • 24 volunteers have delivered blood, covering over 24,000 miles.
  • Each volunteer has covered an average of 154 miles per night.
  • Mission types where blood has been used – 12 RTC, 4 falls, 6 other
  • Transportation to missions where blood has been used – 17 by helicopter, 5 by RRV
  • Patients receiving transfusions – 16 men, 6 women

Thank you to our partners who have helped make #BloodOnBoard possible – NHS Blood and Transplant Service, The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and the Essex Voluntary Blood Service.

Call us: 0345 2417 690

Lottery Hotline: 0345 2417 688

Donate: Text ‘HELI’ to 70588 to give £5

You will be charged £5, plus your standard network rate. 100% of your donation will go to Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT). By texting, you agree that EHAAT may phone or text you to tell you about our work. If you would prefer not to hear from us again, text HELI NO to 70588.

Stay connected

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1108989). Registered company in England and Wales (05397840). Registered address: Flight House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester CO6 2NS.

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