News Hub

The Air Ambulance Service participates in RePHILL trial

The Air Ambulance Service participates in RePHILL trial

The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS) is extremely proud to have taken part in the Resuscitation with Pre-Hospital Blood Products (RePHILL) trial which was recently published in The Lancet Haematology journal.

The Air Ambulance Service operates both the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) and Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA), and is always looking at ways to enhance the pre-hospital emergency care it provides to its patients.

The research trial investigated the use of blood products in the treatment of critically injured patients before arriving at hospital and involved a fantastic collaboration between Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit and four different air ambulance charities -TAAS, Midlands Air Ambulance, MAGPAS, and East Anglia Air Ambulance.

Dr Caroline Leech, Research Lead for the trial at TAAS, said: “As you can imagine, conducting research in severely injured patients at the scene of an incident is very challenging. Despite this, our clinical crews successfully recruited 28% of the 432 total patients in the study whilst maintaining the highest standards of patient care.

“The published study has provided valuable information into how injured patients respond to early fluid replacement and will now guide further national research to determine which ‘recipe’ of blood transfusion is best.”

The Air Ambulance Service was the first organisation to train paramedics to independently recruit to the trial – ensuring that no eligible patients were missed.

Both the teams at WNAA and DLRAA were involved in the trial and all crew members had to complete additional training in research as well as in blood transfusion, with Critical Care Paramedics (CCP) Sam Cooper and Mark Beasley leading on the trial at both airbases.

“Working on such an import trial was testing for myself and Mark. The day-to-day logistics and compliance were something new for both of us to be involved with, but we are really proud to have been able to contribute to the trial,” said CCP Sam Cooper.

The Air Ambulance Service has been carrying blood products since the start of February this year and its teams have been delivering approximately one blood transfusion a week to a patient since.

Click here to access the link to the free open-access article.