Italian life-savers fly in to learn about blood transfusions


Two Italian clinicians who work in pre-hospital care flew to the North of the England to find out how the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) use blood products to save people’s lives.


Simone Celi, an advanced nurse practitioner and Christian Salaroli, an anaesthetist, are from the Lombardy region in Northern Italy.

They work for an organisation called the Regional Emergency-Urgency Agency (AREU) and last week visited GNAAS for four days to learn about delivering blood transfusions in a pre-hospital setting. This is a technique that they are interested in being able to deliver for their patients in the future.

The pair spent their time observing the GNAAS crews at both Langwathby and Durham Tees Valley Airport and witnessed the teams responding to several live rescue missions.

GNAAS paramedic Terry Sharpe with Christian Salaroli

GNAAS director of operations Andy Mawson said: “GNAAS was privileged to have two of our Italian colleagues over with us for a few days. They came over here specifically to learn about how we deliver pre-hospital blood transfusions, so we took them through the system, we visited the blood labs at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) and they undertook some clinical observation with us.

“They’re a very progressive service and they’re aware of the work we do and we’re very proud that we are just a small charity in the North of England but we have international recognition for the quality of our clinical care.”

Andy Mawson and Simone

Mr Celi added: “Our aim is to improve our service and have a blood on board protocol for pre-hospital transfusions to a patient with major trauma.

“I am very very proud to be at GNAAS. There is a great team and they have been very kind with us and we’ve created a great cooperation between GNAAS and AREU.”

GNAAS is reliant on donations to survive. To donate, click here.

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