FLYING paramedics and doctors have helped design medical kit bags now being used to treat patients both on the ground and in the air.

The medical teams at the Yorkshire Air Ambulance worked with manufacturers to produce the revolutionary pouch design bags.

And already the kitbags are attracting interest from other helicopter emergency services around the country.

The new bags took nearly 18 months to develop and address several key infection-control and patient care issues identified by the helicopter medics.

YAA paramedic and clinical supervisor Tony Wilkes said: “We have gone right back to basics and worked through exactly what we need a kit bag to do.

“The current bag was too small and you’d open it up, particularly in flight, and stuff would just pour out so finding what you needed was a nightmare.”

He added: “We have designed a drawer system in a self-standing bag so when you take kit out the bag doesn’t collapse – which is great.

“Everything is organized in three big pouches and two smaller ones which means we can quickly get what we need.

“The bag can be used as a rucksack and is really comfortable to carry if we have to cover distance and there is also a strap which means it can be lowered to the ground if the helicopter can’t land.”

YAA worked with Wirral-based manufacturer Openhouse Products and funding to buy four new kitbags was provided through a donation of nearly £2,500 by the Wharfedale Special Equipment Fund.

The charity’s two helicopters now carry the new bag as do the emergency response vehicles located at YAA’s bases at Topcliffe, near Thirsk, and Leeds-Bradford airport.