(Image caption: L-R Tom Waters, critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity with former patient, Sarah Washington.)
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is helping a national campaign take flight by raising awareness of the lifesaving work it does across the Midlands and Gloucestershire.
The Charity is set to take part in Air Ambulance Week 2022, organised by Air Ambulances UK, which runs from Monday 5th to Sunday 11th September.,
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, which covers Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, the West Midlands and Worcestershire, will join the other 20 air ambulance charities across the UK for the 2022 campaign which focuses on the theme ‘Critical Moments – Lifesaving Difference’.
The campaign highlights how air ambulance operators such as Midlands Air Ambulance Charity make a lifesaving difference in time-critical moments. Anyone, anywhere across the six counties that the charity operates in could be in vital need of enhanced clinical intervention at any time.
Air ambulance crews bring the advanced skills and expertise of a hospital A&E department, performing complex procedures like amputations and RSI which is the Rapid Sequence Induction of anaesthesia and intubation in critically ill patients.
The critical care paramedics and pre-hospital emergency medicine doctors on-board Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s fleet also administer controlled drugs that are stronger than those found on land ambulances. The enhanced medicines include advanced analgesia, Ketamine and Rocuronium.
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity attends an average of 12 missions everyday across the Midlands and Gloucestershire.
Each air ambulance mission costs on average of £2,950. Midlands Air Ambulance Charity also has three critical care cars as part of its operational fleet, bringing its pre-hospital emergency care to patients suffering medical episodes such as cardiac arrests, strokes, respiratory issues, and sepsis. Each mission in the charity’s critical care cars costs an average of £288.
All of the missions Midlands Air Ambulance Charity makes are funded entirely by the generosity of local people and businesses within the communities it serves.
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is calling on people across the region to support its lifesaving service during Air Ambulance Week 2022 so it can continue to save the lives of people like Sarah Washington who was involved in a traumatic incident whilst out horse riding.
At midday one sunny summer day, 24-year-old Sarah and her friend, Gabby were hacking out on their horses in the remote Hanchurch Woods, in Trentham, Staffordshire. Whilst negotiating some steep terrain, they came to a gate. Gabby dismounted to open the gate and as Sarah walked through, something spooked her horse, causing it to bolt.
Sarah’s foot was caught in the stirrup, and she was dragged along the rough ground. Thankfully her foot was finally freed as the horse galloped off. Sarah was knocked unconscious after suffering multiple blows to the head, despite wearing appropriate head protection.
Gabby found Sarah unresponsive and instantly dialled 999. Due to the remote location and the severity of the incident, the Midlands Air Ambulance from RAF Cosford was dispatched. Within minutes it landed nearby and Dr Malcolm Russell MBE, a pre-hospital emergency medicine doctor and Tom Waters, critical care paramedic, made it on scene.
Sarah hadn’t sustained any severe external physical injuries, but the enhanced clinical team were concerned that she had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Sarah was conveyed to the nearest major trauma centre, Royal Stoke University Hospital, via land ambulance with aircrew escorting to aid with further advanced care.
Sarah explains: “I always knew just how important air ambulances were, but before my accident I wasn’t fully aware that Midlands Air Ambulance is a charity. It’s only recently that I learned it relies solely on donations to fund its lifesaving missions.
“I love Midlands Air Ambulance, they are my absolute heroes, without them I would not have got the critical care that I needed so rapidly, nor would I be here without them.”
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Find out more about Midlands Air Ambulance Charity on the website and on social media.