It’s a question we often get asked, with many people thinking, because we are called ‘Blood Bikes East’ that all we carry is blood.
The simple answer is: we take anything that needs transporting from one hospital to another. But that can be many things, so let’s look at one of the more interesting ones – Tissue For Transplant.
It’s a rare occurrence, but every once in a while we receive a request to transport tissue for immediate transplant. When this happens it is typically classed as an ‘urgent’ transport. This means that we must make our way with all haste to both the pickup and drop-off locations, where specialist staff are waiting to handover and to receive the specially prepared package.
So what does “Transplant Related Tissue” Actually Mean?
If you are thinking that we transport hearts and kidneys, you’d be wrong. The transport of whole organs is incredibly specialised due to the very sensitive nature of the organs themselves. They must obviously be adequately protected and supervised. Instead, we transport materials such as heart valves and corneas for transplant. Although considered ‘minor’ in medical terms, these nonetheless have the potential to be life-saving/life-changing, so we take great care and pride in completing these deliveries.
There have been occasions where the tissue material was required so urgently that a Garda escort was called to ensure that the rider was not impeded in any way. However, that is extremely rare as the procedures for these types of transplants are typically less urgent as the materials are less sensitive.