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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy



The field ambulances were supplied with equipment for the giving of blood and plasma and personnel had been trained for this purpose. In one field ambulance dental mechanics proved eminently suited to this work. In the early part of the campaign blood drawn from seventy donors was used, and serum was also given. The position was markedly improved on 19 July when Captain D. D. Muir, RAMC, with his British field transfusion unit was attached to our active MDS. For transfusions there were then available highly skilled personnel and an ample and regular supply of blood from the base unit in Cairo. This blood was supplied to ADSs as well. It was noted that there were only a few minor reactions in the forward areas and that blood produced a much more satisfactory result than serum.

The OC British Transfusion Services provided boxes containing four bottles of liquid blood plasma and two sterile giving sets for issue to RMOs. Fifteen such sets were issued to the RMOs, thus providing a useful reserve for the Division. Serum, plasma, and saline solution had previously been given regularly at ADSs and, in anticipation of further operations, supplies of blood were similarly arranged. Blood supplies from 6 British Mobile Transfusion Unit were sent to ADSs daily in insulated containers packed with ice. Any unused blood was returned in twenty-four or forty-eight hours to the refrigerator and fresh supplies sent in exchange, thus avoiding wastage by deterioration.

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