14 Nov 2023
In September 2023, London’s Air Ambulance’s advanced trauma team – which operates 24/7, 365 days a year – attended to 168 patients.
Each of these patients were so critically injured that they did not have time to get to hospital. They needed the emergency department bringing to the roadside – meaning London’s Air Ambulance was dispatched. Our crews are the only ones in London who can provide life-saving procedures on scene, such as blood transfusions, open chest surgery and inducing patients into comas.
This month alone saw our crew provide 26 rapid sequence intubations, 23 blood transfusions, 10 femoral arterial lines, five thoracotomies (open chest surgery) and more. We recently shared the story of our patient James, who was found by our crew on arrival to be lifeless with his heart stopped. Luckily we were able to perform a resuscitative thoracotomy and internal heart massage and got his heart beating again. You can read his full story here.
With a fleet consisting of both helicopters and rapid response cars, London’s Air Ambulance can reach any area within the M25 in under 11 minutes. In September 2023, the borough with the most patients needing treatment was Camden, followed by Croydon and then Haringey and Lambeth.
Once we have stabilised the patient, they are transported to a major trauma centre for further treatment. This is usually done in a London Ambulance Service road ambulance, in which our medics accompany the patient. Flying a patient to hospital is usually a rare occurrence, however this did happen three times in September.
In comparison, 40 of our patients (33 per cent) were taken by road ambulance to The Royal London Hospital, 36 (20 per cent) to St Mary’s Hospital, 22 (18 per cent) to King’s College Hospital and 17 (14 per cent) to St George’s Hospital.
The most common mechanism of injury this month was assault, which resulted in 40 patients (24 per cent). Falls resulted in 35 patients (21 per cent), transport-related injuries 28 (17 per cent), medical injuries 25 (15 per cent) and accidents 13 (eight per cent). Twenty-seven of our patients (16 per cent) had unknown or other mechanisms of injury.
If you would like to read August’s mission report to see how the months compare, please do so here.