A YORKSHIRE Air Ambulance is now carrying blood on board for the first time.

It will enable critically injured patients to receive transfusions at the scene of accidents or in the air and has been funded by a £16,000 donation from the Henry Surtees Foundation.

Thermostatically controlled boxes have been bought for transporting and storing blood, as well as the equipment needed to warm it before transfusion.

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Blood is being supplied by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to the YAA helicopter near Wakefield, with the intention to roll the scheme out to include the craft at RAF Topcliffe.