Air Ambulance Week 2020

7 September, 2020

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) has marked Air Ambulance Week by announcing that they have so far responded to over 1,000 emergency missions this year.

Despite experiencing a downturn in call-outs during the start of the nationwide lockdown, the life-saving Charity’s Critical Care Teams, made up of Doctors, Paramedics and Pilots, have seen a sharp rise in call-outs since restrictions were lifted, with August being the busiest month since lockdown began (159).

Of the 1,000 call-outs, 524 were answered by helicopter, and 476 by the Critical Care Team Emergency Response Vehicles. Additionally, nearly half of these missions were to attend life-threatening cardiac arrests (255), or road traffic collisions (207).

As the economic effects of the pandemic take hold the life-saving Charity, funded entirely by public donations, is predicting a significant drop in income. Despite this, the Charity’s Critical Care Teams have remained on the front line, saving lives in the community every day.

In July, clinicians on board the Charity’s helicopter and Emergency Response Vehicles conducted critical care procedures at 91% of incidents they attended: procedures that cannot be carried out by a road ambulance crew, such as a thoracostomy, a small incision of the chest wall, most commonly used for the treatment of a collapsed lung, and the administration of advanced medication to sedate patients.

HIOWAA CEO, Alex Lochrane, comments

‘Our Critical Care Teams are as busy as ever: on the front line, in personal protective equipment, providing immediate critical care to anyone who needs us, wherever and whenever they need us, night and day. While much of the world ground to halt, we certainly didn’t and it has been truly inspiring to watch as our clinical team members have had to adapt to a new way of working, which they have done without missing a beat. I am always acutely conscious, however, that nothing we do, or have done, would be possible without the unwavering commitment and support of our communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.’

Air Ambulance Week, 7 – 13 September, which was established by Air Ambulances UK (AAUK), sets out to highlight the incredible pre-hospital care that is delivered daily by the UK’s 21 Air

Ambulance charities. Throughout the week, HIOWAA, along with the other Air Ambulance charities, will be celebrating the achievements and milestones reached throughout the year, via their website and social media pages.

On average an Air Ambulance helicopter takes off every 10 minutes. Today, alone, the UK’s Air Ambulance teams will be dispatched to approximately 70 life-saving missions.

Monthly breakdown of call-outs:
January: 189
February: 168
March: 120
April: 65
May: 94
June: 124
July: 130
August: 159

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