Our Critical Care Team has been using blood products since 2016. During this time, blood has been transfused to 72 patients, drastically improving their chances of getting to hospital alive. As well as using packed red cells (blood), the team has also used freeze-dried plasma (a yellow component of blood, separated at the time of donation, which contains clotting factors and helps to stop patients from bleeding). However, within the last six months, on a global level, freeze-dried plasma has become more and more difficult to source.

On 17th July 2018, we went live with ‘shock packs’, which contain four units of blood and four units of thawed plasma in its liquid form. Thawed plasma is something that is normally associated with Major Trauma Centres such as Southampton or Southmead Hospitals. Having these products immediately at hand means that our team has an amazing resource with which to resuscitate both adults and children who are suffering from severe trauma, or other conditions in which very large quantities of blood have been lost. 

You can read more about the work of the Devon Freewheelers, who help maintain our blood supplies, and find out how you could give an amazing gift by becoming a blood donor.