Air ambulance charity anticipates “even busier 2023” with a look back on the last 12 months

Life-saving charity Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance responded to 1,814 missions throughout the last 12 months – making it the busiest year for the charity since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The doctors, paramedics, pilots and dispatch assistants that make up the charity’s critical care teams responded to 244 more incidents than in 2021.

December had the most call-outs for the charity (193) – the most in a single month since December 2019 – in a year in which 34% of incidents involved cardiac arrest, 17% road traffic collisions and a further 17% were classed as medical emergencies, such as seizures. Other cases included falls from height, assaults, self-harm, and sporting incidents. Of those 1,814 call-outs, 124 were to the Isle of Wight.

Patients from across the region were taken to hospitals including University Hospital Southampton, Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, Isle of Wight’s St. Mary’s Hospital and Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

The charity’s aircraft was airborne for 547 hours throughout the year, and the three emergency response vehicles covered more than 54,000 miles.

To meet the growing demand for its service, the charity saw further enhancement to its operational model including recruiting additional specialist doctors, introducing a secondary daytime crew to attend a wider range of incidents, and extending its flying hours to 19 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Chief Executive Richard Corbett said, “Each of those 1,814 calls for our help meant someone was in desperate need of our care. Whether they require advanced medication or sedation, a blood transfusion or even a surgical procedure, our specialist crews can do all of this before the patient reaches hospital. Thanks to the advancement of our service, we anticipate being even busier in 2023.”

“It is not lost on me that, despite the ongoing financial uncertainty for so many in our region and beyond, our supporters keep rallying behind us and our patients. And I cannot thank them enough.”

2022 mission breakdown:

Total by air: 982

Total by road: 832

Busiest days: Mondays and Fridays

Busiest hours: 11am and 5pm

Incident breakdown:

Cardiac Arrests: 611 (34%)

Road Traffic Collisions: 317 (17%)

Medical incidents: 303 (17%)

Falls: 189 (10%)

Assaults: 76 (4%)

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