LHSC partnering with the 'Blood on Board' program

Blood on Board team

Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and critical care transport services, and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are pleased to announce the expansion of Ontario’s first ‘Blood on Board’ program to London. Ornge paramedics will have blood on the aircraft, allowing crews to launch without delay bringing blood products with them to communities across the north by air and shortening time to administration to patients in need.

“We are pleased to expand our blood on board program in southern Ontario,” says Dr. Michael Peddle, Associate Medical Officer at Ornge. “With access to blood on board in Toronto and now London, trauma patients across southern Ontario have an opportunity to receive blood products quickly at a time when every minute counts, leading to improved patient outcomes.

The collaboration between Ornge and LHSC launched on April 24 and has already treated one patient. The blood bank at LHSC will supply Ornge with blood products in specialized coolers designed for the storage and transport of blood. Blood temperatures are monitored carefully during storage and on board the aircraft up to the time of transfusion, ensuring the highest safety standards are met.

"We are excited at LHSC to be partnering with Ornge on this innovative program that will provide lifesaving blood resources to patients as it is needed during air ambulance transport in our region,” says John French, LHSC Clinical Diagnostics Executive. “This is a true team effort that includes our dedicated laboratory professionals, which will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for patients that result from timelier access to a key component of care for those who are critically ill or injured.”

Ornge paramedics

Ontario’s first Blood on Board program – a partnership between Ornge and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto – launched in 2021. Ornge previously expanded the Blood on Board program to Thunder Bay in April 2023 to enhance access to care for rural and remote patients. More than 250 units of blood have been administered to over 120 patients since the launch of the program.  

Hemorrhage is a leading cause of death in traumatically injured patients. Research shows that early blood transfusion can improve patient outcomes. As warm weather approaches and ‘trauma season’ nears, Ornge and LHSC encourage anyone who is able to consider visiting a Canadian Blood Service donation centre to donate to make a difference in moments that matter most for patients.