Air Ambulances Key Part of 20% Increase in Patient Survival Rates

Air Ambulances Key Part of 20% Increase in Patient Survival Rates

The Association has welcomed today’s announcement of an independent audit that shows 20 per cent more patients are now surviving severe trauma since the introduction of Major Trauma Networks in 2010. Air ambulances which receive no direct public funding are the principle way a very seriously injured patient will be treated at the scene of the incident and then conveyed to the Major Trauma centre which forms part of the network.

Currently across the UK 35 rotary air ambulances attend on average 70 incidents a day , some requiring the specialist urgent care to life threatening and limiting trauma at one of the Major Trauma Centres. Patients who have been involved in a serious road traffic incident, injury at work (farm, construction,etc.), assault or other critical injuries now have a 20% greater chance of survival. These patients first receive care at the point of the incident through a network of highly trained Pre-Hospital Care Doctors or Critical Care Paramedics delivered to scene by an air ambulance in support of the ambulance service. These expert clinicians stabilise the patient and then convey them to the nearest Major Trauma Centre.

Clive Dickin, National Director commented:

“Today’s news gives real encouragement to the victims of major trauma which is one of the largest causes of death in the under 50’s. To see a 20% increase in survival rates, through the centralisation of skills in the Major Trauma Network aligned with the highly focused skills of the ambulance services and the air ambulance network is amazing.”

Regional Trauma Networks were first introduced in 2012 to enable the rapid and safe transfer of patients to the 22 designated Major Trauma Centres throughout the country as few district hospitals in England have the capacity to provide comprehensive care for these patients.  The networks were developed by doctors, nurses and allied health professionals including paramedics and physiotherapists, to ensure that the patient receives the best possible care from the scene of the accident through to their rehabilitation at home.

Air ambulances across the UK are operated by charities in close support with their local ambulance services. These services would not be possible without the kind donations of the general public and corporate donors. In 2011 the charities across the UK had to raise £76.6 million pounds to operate the service.

Dated 26th June 2013