Blood Bikes is in the title and you would be correct in assuming that we do, on occasion transport blood and blood products. But over the next few weeks I’ll be telling you about some of the other things that we carry.
I’ll start with one of our newest and most surprising services, FMT or Faecal Microbiota Transplants. In short, we carry poo from a donor to a patient who needs it. That doesn’t sound particularly attractive does it? But for the patient it can be a life saver.
Our NHS are using FMT to fight, and very successfully fight a nasty, persistent infection called Clostridium Difficile or C. Diff. for short. C. Diff can overwhelm the healthy, essential bacteria in the gut of vulnerable patients. Antibiotics can help in some cases but in others the C. Diff infection persistently recurs. This is where FMT comes in.
Donated stool is taken from a screened donor and prepared. Blood Bike groups across the country, coordinated by the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes group then transport the donated matter across the country for transplant.
This technique has a long history, going back as far as 4th century China but recent studies show it still works, with up to 92% of patients recovering after such treatment.
So yes, an unusual thing to carry on a motorbike but another example of how Blood Bikes are helping our NHS in ways you could not imagine.