Where your donations go: Saving lives with enhanced blood testing equipment

One of the biggest issues in the field of trauma treatment is major bleeding. Haemorrhaging is responsible for up to 40% of deaths due to trauma; over 2,000 deaths every year in the UK. At the Royal London Hospital, your donations are funding state-of-the-art technology that helps doctors to manage major bleeding.

Normally when we bleed following a small injury, like a cut or graze, we are able to form clots to stop the blood loss.  Following severe injury, like in major trauma patients, the body quickly develops abnormal blood clotting which leads to worsening bleeding and blood loss. 

When trauma patients are brought to hospital, doctors can now give them blood products that can help with their clotting. But time is of the essence, and the earlier they know which products to give, the more likely their patient will have a good outcome.

Last year, we gave over £36,000 to The Royal London Hospital for cutting-edge ROTEM equipment. This device can measure the properties of blood in real time, allowing clinicians to provide targeted treatment as soon as possible. ROTEM has reduced the amount of time it takes to analyse blood from 1 hour to just 5 minutes, saving valuable time in identifying the best life-saving treatment.

Richard Carden, a trauma clinical research fellow at the Centre for Trauma Sciences (C4TS) says: "ROTEM allows us to identify blood clotting deficiencies early in the patient’s care, meaning we can start the right treatment quickly. Traditionally we would wait for laboratory results to come back, which could take up to an hour."

The new machinery replaces an early version that the hospital acquired back in 2013, which showed how important quick analysis of a patient’s blood is.  

Around 500 ROTEM tests are performed every year and the team at the major trauma centre have worked with C4TS to develop new algorithms, simplifying the interpretation of results and treatments and making it safer and more straight-forward.

This updated and enhanced version of the ROTEM device will push these advancements even further. The machine is faster, more accurate, and easier to use. This means it can be used more often and with better results – and help more critically-injured patients on their way to recovery.

Survival isn’t a matter of chance. Help us reduce death and disability from trauma. 

Donate to our Trauma Appeal