The countdown to the take-off of Air Ambulance Week has begun!
Air ambulance charities right across the UK are this week celebrating Air Ambulance Week with a powerful awareness campaign called ‘Because Every Second Counts’, launched by Air Ambulances UK
The campaign highlights how the nation’s 21 air ambulance charities save lives every day across the UK by rapidly bringing highly advanced lifesaving critical care directly to the side of the most critically injured or ill, when every second counts towards survival.
The UK’s air ambulance charities collectively make over 25,000 lifesaving missions a year to people with life-threatening injuries or a medical emergency. Their critical care team doctors and paramedics specialise in pre-hospital emergency care, bringing the A&E-level treatment to the scene, often performing highly advanced interventions to save patients before onwards transfer to hospital.
Each air ambulance charity helicopter lifesaving mission costs on average around £2,500 and is funded almost entirely by donations. Support is vital to keep air ambulance charities flying and saving lives like that of two-year-old Isaac.
Isaac, his 24-week pregnant mum Olivia and his dad Michael were on the way to a wedding rehearsal, where Isaac was page boy, when the family’s car was struck from behind while stationary in a queue of traffic on a 60mph road.
Olivia says: “I turned around and saw Isaac. He looked as though he was sleeping, like he’d fallen asleep on the journey, but I quickly realised that he’d been knocked unconscious in the collision.
“Fortunately, a nurse was also queuing in the traffic on the other side of the road and came to help us. We got Isaac out of the car and the nurse began giving him some oxygen. That’s when we saw the dent in his head, on his frontal bone. I can still picture it now. I later learnt that he’d suffered a depressed skull fracture.
“Everything else went by in a bit of a blur. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) had arrived in their helicopter. I was in so much shock that I didn’t hear the aircraft land. The crew intubated Isaac at the side of the road. By this point his head had swollen up and you couldn’t actually see the dent.
Michael and I went in the helicopter with Isaac to King’s College Hospital in London. I felt so reassured by the crew. I couldn’t hear anything in the aircraft, but the Paramedic kept putting his thumb up to me. It was such a small thing, but it meant so much. It made me feel as though Isaac was completely safe.”
Isaac spent 24 hours in intensive care, until he’d had surgery on his skull and spent 12 days in hospital in total. Thankfully, Olivia, her unborn child and husband Michael were not injured.
Continues Olivia: Isaac was so young when the accident happened, so it’s tricky to see any lasting effects, but he’s definitely a fighter. He turns five in September and is doing really well. Thankfully he doesn’t remember the crash anymore, but he knows how much the air ambulance helped him and understands what the charity does for people. We always wave and say thank you when we see the helicopters flying past.
”If it weren’t for people raising funds for Air Ambulance Kent Surrey and Sussex, the service wouldn’t exist and Isaac might not be alive today”.
Air Ambulance Kent Surrey and Sussex is just one of the 21 air ambulance charities saving lives every day across the UK.
Nikki Wright, Operations Director says
“Since the beginning of COVID-19, air ambulance charities have played a vital role in the emergency response to the pandemic, with their critical care skills in much demand, while also continuing their daily lifesaving missions.
They have faced many challenges including a significant drop in donations as the economic effects of the pandemic take hold. Now more than ever they need support; donations fund missions.
Every penny and every second counts towards air ambulance charities saving lives of the most critically injured and ill every day across the UK.”
Air Ambulances UK is the national charity which supports the UK’s 21 local air ambulance charities. To find out more and donate securely online during Air Ambulance Week go to https://www.airambulancesuk.org/air-ambulance-week-2020/
Follow Air Ambulance Week across the UK #AAW2020 #BecauseEverySecondCounts
For more information about KSS please visit: https://www.aakss.org.uk/