Midlands Freewheelers play an important role in a 2-3 year clinical trial to test whether giving blood and plasma to trauma patients at the roadside is beneficial.
On 1st December 2016 an NHS clinical trial (RePHILL) was launched. Overseen by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the trial involves blood and plasma or saline being carried on the Midlands Air Ambulance and by the MERIT team. Seriously injured patients will receive either saline (the default for most incidents) or blood and plasma before being transferred to hospital. Their progress will then be monitored to see if there are better outcomes for the patients who have received the blood and plasma. Each year, around 20% of O negative blood stock is used on air ambulances around the country but with no real evidence of the benefits. Full details of the trial can be found here http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/trials/bctu/trials/portfolio-v/Rephill/index.aspx
Midland Freewheelers are proud to be a part of this important trial by providing the transport of the boxes containing either blood/plasma or saline from the blood bank at New Cross Hospital. We deliver the boxes to the air ambulance based at RAF Cosford and to the land based trauma team at the MERIT base in Oldbury. We currently operate 3 days a week and are on call for the other 4 days to take additional supplies as required. We use our blood car to transport the boxes and have carried out an extensive program of advanced driver training to ensure we have enough qualified drivers to cover the rota.