Heroic army medics from the West Midlands and Staffordshire brought a soldier back from the brink of death in Afghanistan by using 30 times the amount of blood that is normally found in the body, it was revealed today.
Details of the medical miracle emerged as members of 202 Field Hospital returned home from the war-torn country.
Marine Sgt Aaron Alonso was not breathing and had no pulse when he arrived at the Camp Bastion Hospital in Helmand Province. He had been airlifted from the battlefield following a bomb blast.
Medical staff managed to revive the 25-year-old married US serviceman who lost both legs when blown up by an Improvised Explosive Device while on patrol.
But he needed to be given an astonishing 300 units of blood products during the frantic battle to save himwhichdrained all suitable supplies available at the hospital.
This triggered an emergency plan that saw members of staff queuing up to give blood that was used just half an hour later to keep the casualty alive.
The team involved in the drama included members of a 34-strong squad of medics from 202 Field Hospital, an army reserve unit with staff from hospitals in the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire.
The soldier was transferred to the intensive care unit next door after several hours of surgery and then airlifted out of Afghanistan to a US Army hospital in Germany.
A short time later astonished Camp Bastion hospital chiefs got a photograph showing Sgt Alonso in bed and receiving the Purple Heart – the decoration awarded to those wounded or killed while serving in the military – from a Marine General.
Colonel Glynn Evans, a 48-year-old NHS consultant anaesthetist from Tamworth who was in command of the Camp Bastion Hospital when the incident took place on February 8, said today: “It was like bringing him back from the dead. He had no pulse and his heart was not working when he arrived.”
Marine Sgt Alonso, who has a young daughter, is now back in the US receiving treatment.