World’s First Prehospital REBOA Performed in UK


London’s Air Ambulance has performed the world’s first roadside balloon surgery to control internal bleeding. Use of prehospital Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA), a technique used first in the UK at The Royal London Hospital, to control hemorrhage in trauma patients is a groundbreaking move by London’s Air Ambulance.

On average the charity is called six times a day to deliver its life-saving medical interventions to people seriously injured in the Capital. Many of these patients are suffering from catastrophic bleeding. Tragically some die at the scene as a result of their severe blood loss and never make it to hospital. London’s Air Ambulance can now perform REBOA on patients suffering severe pelvic hemorrhage, an injury most commonly associated with cycling incidents and falls from height.

Commenting on the use of REBOA to treat trauma patients, Dr Gareth Davies, Medical Director for London’s Air Ambulance, said: “Our aim is to provide our patients with the world’s most innovative and effective pre-hospital care. Being able to effectively manage blood loss at the scene is a significant advancement in prehospital medicine.”

“We believe the use of REBOA can lead to a reduction in the number of patients who quite simply bleed to death before they have the chance to get to hospital where there are highly developed systems for stabilising and preventing blood loss.”