A life-saving charity has won an award for its research into carrying blood on board helicopters.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance won Best Research Poster and a cash prize of 1,000 euros at the AirMed conference in Rome, Italy in June. Dr Anthony Hudson, one of the people responsible for the research, gave a presentation at the event about pre-hospital blood transfusion.

He said: “This work is just one example of how the team at the air ambulance are constantly trying to improve and innovate in order to save more lives.”

The research showed that, on average, blood was given 85 minutes earlier than before the service was launched in February 2013. Doctors and paramedics at the air ambulance performed 54 emergency blood transfusions between February and November last year, with most patients being males involved in road traffic collisions. Previously emergency blood transfusions were performed later in hospital, replacing blood which was lost.