THOSE in need of urgent blood transfusions can now be helped thanks to a £25,000 donation.
Blood is now being carried on the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance service's two helicopters to allow the specialist doctor and paramedic team to carry out a transfusion at the scene of an emergency.
The air ambulance service is one of the first to provide this outside of London.
Former Formula 1 world champion John Surtees helped launch the service on February 4. It is estimated it will save up to 100 lives a year. Mr Surtees, founder of the Henry Surtees Foundation, had previously presented the cheque for £25,000.
This has funded the cost of the blood transfusion equipment on board the aircraft, and two Honda CRV cars. Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) will take delivery of the new cars to transport blood in special temperature-controlled containers to the air ambulance base in Redhill on a daily basis.
The blood stocks will be kept at East Surrey Hospital and any un-used supplies will be returned to the hospital so none is wasted.
Until now, patients requiring a transfusion were taken to hospital.