24 Mar 2022

1,713 patients were treated by London's Air Ambulance in 2021

In 2021, London’s Air Ambulance’s advanced trauma team treated 1,713 critically injured patients.

This is 219 more patients in comparison to 2020 and marks the highest number of missions since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the youngest patient treated at six months old, to the oldest at 93 years old, London’s Air Ambulance is there for everyone who visits, lives and works in London, 365 days a year. You can read some of our patient stories here.

Of the 1,713 critically injured patients that our trauma team attended to, 595 of these were due to penetrating trauma. Road traffic collisions saw 389 patients needing urgent care, falls from height 379, and other mechanisms of injury – which include rail incidents, industrial accidents, drownings and medical emergencies – 350.

August was the busiest month in 2021, and the three busiest boroughs were Westminster, Croydon and Tower Hamlets. Our Mission Map has more details on borough-specific statistics.

Mission Map for 2021 mission statisticsDr Tom Hurst, Medical Director of London’s Air Ambulance, said: “Trauma can affect anyone – without any warning an ordinary day can become the worst day of that person’s life. Our job is to make sure that when that happens we can get to that patient as quickly as possible to perform the most cutting-edge treatments that will give them the best chance of survival. In 2021 our teams were called out 1,713 times, an average of five times every single day.

“Thanks to London’s Air Ambulance’s spirit of innovation over the last 33 years, we have developed advanced procedures that mean our doctor and paramedic teams can bring the hospital to the roadside, from open heart surgery to blood transfusions. We will continue to innovate, to look for new ways to improve survival so we can carry on helping the most critically injured in the capital.”

The mission statistics from January 2022 have recently been released. Have a read of these to see how 2022 has begun in comparison to 2021.

Our service delivers an advanced trauma team, made up of a doctor and paramedic, to bring the hospital to the scene via helicopter or rapid response car when time is of the essence. The expert teams can reach anywhere in London in under 11 minutes. 

Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, said: “We are so grateful for the support of our NHS partners, however even with their passionate backing, we still need to find 89% of our income from donations and the support of generous Londoners. This need is even more pressing than usual, as we face a £6 million reduction in income over the next few years due to the impact of the pandemic. This has come at a particularly challenging time as we need to replace our helicopter fleet by 2024, at a cost of around £15 million.

“These two new helicopters are essential so that we can continue to deliver our mission to save more lives in London. They will be more efficient, capable of incorporating new digital capacities, will be fitted for night vision flying and will help the service continue to push medical boundaries.

“London has always backed us in our hour of need but we need the support of Londoners now more than ever to keep our service flying, so that we can be there for all those patients that need us.”  

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