The Aeromedical Retrieval Team has nothing but praise for NSW Health Pathology’s Wollongong Transfusion Laboratory for the vital role they played in providing blood products to a critically injured patient.
When the Aeromedical Retrieval team was forced to activate a Retrieval Transfusion Protocol (RTP) for a trauma patient experiencing massive blood loss, NSW Health Pathology’s Wollongong transfusion team sprang into action.
An RTP is used in rare circumstances when the three red blood cell units on board have been used but the patient needs more.
With immense responsibility on their shoulders the transfusion team made sure the correct blood products were available and administered.
The paramedics treating the patient at the scene required a further three units of blood. The transfusion team coordinated with members of the NSW Police who picked up the blood products and rushed to the scene.
The paramedics continued resuscitating the patient when it soon became clear that even more blood products were required. They were starting to worry, but then they heard the sirens of Police vehicles carrying more units of blood.
As the paramedics urgently transported the patient to St George Hospital a further six units were requested with two more units waiting at the helipad, allowing a transfusion to be administered on route to theatre.
The patient was eventually stabilised despite losing more than his total blood volume.
The treating paramedics went out of their way to praise the pathology transfusion team, particularly Erica and Nathan, for their organisation and efficiency that played a valuable role in saving a life.
This event dramatically highlighted the important role the Wollongong Transfusion Laboratory team plays in determining positive patient outcomes each day.
While the focus is largely on the heroic work of our nurses, paramedics and doctors, it is important to celebrate the dedicated laboratory staff who work magic behind the scenes.