TWO Italian medics who work in pre-hospital care have been shadowing the staff from the Great North Air Ambulance to see how they 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 visited GNAAS for four days to learn about delivering blood transfusions in a pre-hospital setting.

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

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.”

He continued: “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.”

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.”

He also mentioned how proud he is to be at GNAAS, saying: “There is a great team and they have been very kind with us and we’ve created a great co-operation between GNAAS and AREU.”

In 2018, GNAAS answered some 1,173 callouts and 33,414 donors.

GNAAS runs courses in pre-hospital medicine are over-subscribed and attract applicants from all over the world.

They include Pre-hospital Emergency Anaesthesia (PHEA) and pre-hospital Emergency Medicine Crew Course (PHEMCC) with their aim being to be a world leader in pre-hospital care.