1. Live Tweets Today from 999 Control Room

    July 25, 2016 by Tracy

    Following on from the huge success of their first tweetathon, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is repeating the event today from their Bristol clinical hub.

    The event takes place HEMS Desk at Exeter Control Roombetween 8am and 6pm and gives you the opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience what it is like working in a busy 999 control room.

    More than 2,500 incidents a day are managed by The Trust where help, advice and reassurance are always offered. The shift coincides with one of the busiest times of the year for the Trust as many people begin their summer holidays in the region.

    Ken Wenman, Chief Executive of SWASFT, said: “A huge variety of calls come through our hubs every day. Tweeting about some of the calls we receive gives the public a greater view on what happens when you make that 999 call.

    “It is also the start of the summer holidays so we encourage people to choose well and remember to please only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency. If you need medical help but it isn’t urgent there are other options available to you. You could call NHS111, visit your GP or pharmacy or visit your minor injury unit.”

    Ken Wenman also added: “The tweetathon shows the public how busy our ambulance service really is and helps steer people to choose the right healthcare provider for their medical need. Remember 999 should only be used in a real emergency”

    SWASFT LogoYou can follow the tweetathon via the Twitter page @swasFT using the hashtag #swasftLive


  2. Annie Maw’s Diamond Challenge

    July 19, 2016 by Tracy

    Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset and DSAA Patron Annie MawAnnie Maw, Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Patron has begun her 60 mile Tramper Trek Challenge to mark the 60th anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.  Annie’s mode of transport is her Tramper which is an electric vehicle for people who, like herself are unable to walk.

    There will be a 15 mile route in each of the four corners of the county.  The journey began yesterday near Great Elm (Wellow), in BANES and will finish at Glastonbury Abbey, at the end of the week, where countless pilgrims in times gone by, have completed equally challenging journeys.

    On the way she will visit Radstock and the outskirts of Frome, the sea front in Weston super Mare, Cheddar, Porlock Post and Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor, Dunster, the West Somerset Railway, Minehead, Bruton and Ditcheat on her way to Glastonbury.

    Annie commented by saying: “Somerset is full of energetic people who spend time and effort on all kinds of activities and ideas whose objective is to improve and preserve the special way of life we have in this, the most unique, varied and spectacular of counties.

    “Our intention is to show the world what a brave and beautiful county we live in. We would like to raise people's awareness of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and of the Lieutenancy's role in promoting projects like this which were founded by a member of the Royal family who the Lieutenancy represents in each of our counties in the UK. Alongside this purpose, we hope that each of the places we pass through will allow us to publicise the projects and activities which the community is working on at the moment.

    “We are proud to be supporting them and to be promoting Somerset, our county.”

    Everyone at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance wishes Annie good luck on her journey.  The weather will definitely be a challenge too, given the mini heat wave we seem to be having.   Please come out and support her along the route or follow and comment on Annie’s progress via the DofE Tramper Trek Facebook Page.


  3. Grand Summer Draw Results

    July 18, 2016 by Tracy

    In addition to our weekly lottery, the Charity holds two GRAND LOTTERY DRAWS every year.  These take place during the Summer and at Christmas. Our 2016 Summer Draw took place on Thursday 14th July. We were once again astounded by the amount of support we received as a total of £96,501 tickets were sold. Our congratulations go to all the winners and a big thank you to everyone who took part!

    DSAA GRAND SUMMER DRAW 2016 WINNERS

    £1,000   W Watton, Bournemouth (Ticket number 637259)

    £250      Mrs M Howard, Bournemouth (Ticket number 379525)

    £150      Mr H Hemmens, Highbridge (Ticket number 50663) 

    £125      Mrs P Coulstock, St. Leonards (Ticket number 553733)

    £100      Mr R Burgess, Winscombe (Ticket number 178024)

    To find out  more about joining our Weekly Lottery Draw, please click HERE.


  4. Rock Solid Performance by Francis Clark

    June 28, 2016 by Lara Lucas

    Francis ClarkChartered Accountants Firm, Francis Clark have raised £3,324 for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The Taunton based firm selected the air ambulance as their chosen charity for 2015 and decided to raise the funds by taking part in various challenge events.

    Eighteen staff members from different offices took part in a gruelling cycle hill climb event called the Haytor Climb. The riders ascended the 3.6 mile route from bottom to top 65 times, completing a combined total of 216 miles and climbing 70,000ft.

    If that wasn’t challenging enough, seventeen staff members and partners also took part in the South West’s largest mud run and obstacle course race, Rock Solid. The Rock Solid Race is a formidable 5km, 10km or 15km cross country team event where competitors face up to 50 all-terrain obstacles designed to test stamina, power, endurance and mental strength. Challenges along the way included water, climbing, crawling and ‘x-rated’ obstacles with intimidating names such as the ‘Muddy Dunk’, ‘Tunnel Rats’, ‘Hurdles from Hell’ and ‘Shiver Me Trainers’.

    Francis Clark also raised funds for the Charity from selling yummy cakes and sweet treats at their tuck shop. Fundraising Co-ordinator Debbie Birtwisle, enjoyed meeting representatives of the firm at their Taunton offices and receiving the funds raised.


  5. Events Supporting Our Charity!

    June 23, 2016 by Lara Lucas

    For events postDon’t forget to check out our online events calendar for events taking place over the next couple of weeks that are either in aid of the charity, or that we are attending with a stall!

    There are more than likely to be events taking place across Dorset and Somerset which we are unaware of. If you are organising an event in aid of us, please contact the office on 01823 669604 and we will be happy to help you promote this.

    To view all events on our online events calendar, click here.


  6. Website Maintenance

    June 21, 2016 by Lara Lucas

    Due to ongoing maintenance on our website this week, you may find some of the pages are slow to respond.  If you are trying to make a donation, please do this by calling our office on: 01823 669604 for the interim period.  Many thanks for you support!


  7. Lottery Results!

    June 10, 2016 by Lara Lucas

    LotteryCongratulations to the winners of this week's Flight for Life Lottery!

    Our Lottery draw takes place every Friday. The results get posted to our website automatically once the draw is made. You can check whether you are one of the lucky winners by visiting our lottery pages or by clicking HERE.

    You can also find all the information you need to know on how to join the Lottery by clicking HERE. It only costs £1 a week and by joining you could be in with a chance of winning one of our cash or consolations prizes every week!


  8. Volunteers Needed in Dorset!

    by Lara Lucas

    114362659As Volunteers’ Week is coming to a close, we would like to take the opportunity to once again, thank our wonderful team of volunteers for all their hard work and commitment to the Charity. Our volunteers work incredibly hard and without them, we would not be able to provide the support that we do!

    Our team of volunteers represent the Charity at all sorts of events, service our many collection boxes and carry out talks to clubs and groups. If you would like to meet new people, gain life skills or share those life skills that you already have, we are currently looking for volunteers in the Bournemouth, Poole and Dorchester areas of Dorset to:

    Attend events with our Charity information stands

    This role entails: attending events to sell branded charity merchandise, assembling and disassembling equipment, stock control, banking monies as required.

    Skills required:

    • Excellent people skills
    • Numerate and an ability to keep records
    • Outgoing, friendly and proactive
    • Excellent communication skills

     

    Communicate and promote the work of the Charity at supporter presentations and talks

    This role entails: giving talks and presentations to a variety of audiences, ensuring the content of the talk is appropriate for the audience demographic, collecting and banking monies from donations as required.

    Skills required:

    • Excellent people skills
    • Ability to talk to groups with confidence
    • Outgoing, friendly and proactive
    • Excellent communication skills

     

    If you would like to help us by joining as a volunteer, please contact the office on 01823 669604 or email info@dsairambulance.org.uk. For more information on volunteering, please click HERE


  9. Enhancing our Critical Care Capability with the Carriage of Blood Products

    June 9, 2016 by Tracy

    Collaborative Effort by DSAA,DCH,DFW,HSF, SWASfTDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that a collaboration between the Charity, Dorset County Hospital, Devon Freewheelers, the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASfT) and the Henry Surtees Foundation, has resulted in patient’s now being able to receive blood products at the scene of an incident.

    The project came to fruition when the Charity started carrying blood on 26 April 2016.  An official launch took place at the Charity’s airbase today, where all parties involved in the project, heard how their contribution is already making a difference to people's lives.

    Emergency blood transfusions are usually given to patients who suffer life-threatening bleeding caused by major trauma or acute medical conditions.  40% of trauma deaths are due to bleeding, so being able to carry and administer blood products to these patients before they get to hospital could be a matter of life or death.

    Ian Mew in simulation exerciseAfter months of research and a dedicated commitment to patient benefit; the Charity’s Critical Care Team have worked extremely hard on identifying the best way to deliver, implement and fund this project. Special recognition should be given to the work of Critical Care Paramedic, Michelle Walker and Air Ambulance Intensive Care Consultant, Dr Ian Mew.

    Of the 20 air ambulance charities across the UK, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance joins 9 others who now carry blood products on board their aircraft and rapid response vehicles.  In a bid to ensure that patients in extremis have enough blood to keep them alive until they reach hospital, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance will carry four units of O type red blood cells, unlike many others who only carry two.

    A further significant development is that ‘Freeze Dried Plasma’ will also be carried by Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance from the month of June.Blood Transfusion simulation

    Experience from the military suggests that if a patient is bleeding to death, they should receive both ‘packed red cells’ (which carry oxygen) and ‘plasma’ (which carries the clotting factors to help stop the bleeding).  Freeze Dried Plasma was selected as the preferred option to Fresh Frozen Plasma as it has a shelf life of approximately 18 months and can be made up when needed, unlike fresh frozen plasma which has a five day shelf-life after being thawed.  The Charity will become one of four air ambulance charities in the UK to carry a combination of blood and plasma and the only air ambulance charity in the South West to do so.

    Developing the blood service comes at an expense.  It requires equipment within the hospital to pre-condition the blood, transportation to and from hospital to the airbase and a dedicated place of storage.  It also requires equipment to keep the blood cold on the aircraft and further specialist equipment which warms the blood as it is being transfused to the patient.

    The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team built key relationships with a number of different parties who have played a key role in the facilitation and funding of the project.

    Mac Greenslade, John Thorne and Dr. Dietmar Hoffer (Dorset County Hospital), Mo Ayling (DFW) with Dr. Ian Mew and Dr. Rob TorokThe Transfusion Laboratory at Dorset County Hospital (DCH) has been extremely supportive of the project providing four units of O type blood to the Charity every 48 hours.  The blood is stored in temperature regulated ‘Golden Hour’ boxes which keep the blood under 6°C for up to 72 hours.  These boxes require conditioning in order to function (a process of freezing and partial thawing) using -30°C freezers provided specifically for this purpose.  The boxes are packed and sealed prior to dispatch by the DCH Transfusion Team and contain a temperature logging device which ensures the blood temperature is monitored for the duration that it is out of the hospital environment.

    Motorcycle Charity, Devon Freewheelers deliver the blood to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance on blood bikes and in a newly Devon Freewheelers with Dr. Ian Mew and Critical Care Paramedic Claire Bakersponsored car.  This team of around 50 volunteer emergency vehicle drivers are dedicated to providing a weekday out of hours and 24/7 weekend service supporting the NHS by delivering essential Blood, Samples, Medication and Donor Breast Milk to and from hospitals across the South West.

    If the ‘Golden Hour’ box is unopened at the end of the 48 hour period, it will be collected by the Devon Freewheelers and returned to DCH where it will be reissued and utilised within the hospital. Similarly, if blood is used during a shift, the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Desk (HEMS) contact the DCH Transfusion Laboratory and the Devon Freewheelers deliver additional stocks within a matter of hours.

    An application for funding of the project was submitted to the Henry Surtees Foundation which concluded in all the set up costs being fully funded by the foundation totalling nearly £18,000.  Further logistical support was shown when the Henry Surtees Foundation also agreed to cover the leasing costs of a Vauxhall Mokka 4x4 which is being used by the Devon Freewheelers as an additional resource to deliver and collect the blood.Henry Surtees Foundation Trustee Derek Redfern presents a cheque to DSAA CEO Bill Sivewright

    The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASfT) has also been extremely supportive of the project.  The Trust is fortunate to be supported by five air ambulance charities; the largest number of charities of any UK ambulance service and is responsible for tasking all the air ambulances, clinical governance and employment of the paramedics.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said:  “To the lay person, the decision to carry blood in the Air Ambulance seems very straightforward.  However, in reality, it takes an enormous amount of careful consideration and detailed planning by a number of organisations to make it happen.  Bringing together the experience and expertise of the Air Ambulance, Dorset County Hospital, SWASfT and Devon Freewheelers and the generous support of the Henry Surtees Foundation, epitomises what can be achieved through good collaboration.  The whole really is much more than the sum of its parts and our patients will beaBill Sivewright with Lord Lieutenant of Dorset and DSAA Patron Angus Campbellr witness to that in the years to come.”

    Dr. Ian Mew (Consultant in Anaesthetics & Intensive Care Medicine) spoke on behalf of Dorset County Hospital and said:   “Providing blood for the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance critical care team to give at the roadside is something that we’re particularly proud of. Our blood transfusion staff have worked very closely with the Charity over the past year, installing specialist equipment in the laboratory and developing processes to ensure the blood is kept according to very strict criteria whilst on the helicopter.  For the past three years, three of our consultants have been flying with the air ambulance and have been providing training for the critical care paramedics.  By combining this with the provision of blood, Dorset County Hospital is proud to be making a difference to the wider community and looks forward to working with the Charity to provide life-saving care into the future.”

    SWASFT’s deputy clinical director, Adrian South, said: “SWASFT’s critical care specialist paramedics who work on the air ambulance receive additional training so they can bring even more clinical skills to the most seriously ill and injured patients. Along with critical care doctors, they are able to administer the blood. This new initiative to carry blood for transfusions will be of real benefit for patients in the south west.”

    John Surtees CBE commented on the announcement and said: “With a background in motorsport, I have spent my life largely chasing time round the race tracks of the world.  I know that every second counts and none more so than for the Air Ambulance Services when accidents or illnesses occur.  I would like to say a special thank you to Vauxhall for supporting our initiative. I’m sure that the assistance of the Vauxhall Mokka will be a huge benefit to the region and help save multiple lives.”

    Daniel Lavery, Founder and Chief Executive of Devon Freewheelers, said: “Blood is crucial for the Helimed team so that they can carry out emergency blood transfusions for patients who suffer major trauma.  We’ve been providing this service for the NHS in the South West for years, but this new function means that even those who have accidents in remote locations can receive life-saving blood as quickly as possible. It’s a pleasure to now be working alongside Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.”

    Photographs taken at the official announcement of the project can be viewed by clicking HERE.


  10. Airlift News!

    June 8, 2016 by Lara Lucas

    AirliftWe take patient confidentiality very seriously and with this in mind only issue information which has been approved by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASfT). As a result, we only disclose information on the incidents that satisfy these rules.

    From 09.05.16 - 05.06.16

    Culmhead – Adult Male – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed to Southmead Hospital, Bristol

    Verwood – Baby Female – Breathing Difficulties – Patient conveyed by land vehicle

    Babcary – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed to Southmead Hospital, Bristol

    Shaftesbury – Baby Male – Not Breathing -    Patient Treated On Scene

    Weymouth – Teenage Female – Horse Incident – Patient conveyed to Southampton General Hospital

    Lyme Regis – Adult Male - Suffered a Fall – On Scene

    Minehead – Adult Female – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Chard – Adult Male – Chest Pain – Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Chard – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed to Southmead Hospital, Bristol

    Corfe Mullen – Adult Male – Road Traffic Incident – Land Crew Request – Patient conveyed by land vehicle

    Parkstone – Adult Male – Push Bike Incident – Patient conveyed by land vehicle to Poole Hospital

    Minehead – Child Male – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed by land vehicle to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Templemans Ash – Adult Male – Bull Incident – Patient conveyed to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    Frome – Elderly Male – Heart Attack – Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath

    Priddy – Adult Male – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed by land vehicle to Southmead Hospital, Bristol

    Blandford Forum – Adult Male – Cardiac Arrest - D&S RRV – Patient conveyed to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    Sixpenny Handley – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed to Southampton General Hospital

    Burton Bradstock – Adult Male – Possible Cardiac Arrest – Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Frome – Adult Female – Cardiac Arrest – Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath

    Porlock – Adult Male – Cardiac Arrest – Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Galhampton – Adult Female – Horse Incident – Patient conveyed by land vehicle to Yeovil District Hospital

    Hengistbury Head – Adult Female – Suffered a Fall – Patient conveyed to Southampton General Hospital

    Broadmayne – Collapse – Patient conveyed by land vehicle to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    West Bay – Adult Male – Leg Injury – Patient conveyed by land vehicle

    Portland – Adult Male – Road Traffic Incident – Patient conveyed to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    Wincanton – Adult Female – Horse Incident – Patient conveyed by land vehicle

    Priddy – Teenage Male – Suspected Spinal Issue – Land Crew Request – Patient conveyed to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

    Henstridge – Elderly Female – Cardiac Arrest – Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    West Pennard – Elderly Male – Suspected Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Land Crew Request – Patient conveyed to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

    Swanage – Elderly Female – Cardiac Arrest – Patient conveyed to Royal Bournemouth Hospital

    Shepton Mallet – Elderly Female – Suspected Heart Block – Land Crew Request - Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath

    Chilcompton – Child Male – Fractured Pelvis – Land Crew Request - Patient conveyed to Royal United Hospital, Bath

    Christchurch – Child Male – Road Traffic Incident – Land Crew Request – Patient conveyed to Southampton General Hospital

    Mupe Bay – Ankle Injury – Access Issues – On Scene First – Patient winched and conveyed by Kinloss Search and Rescue to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester

    Verwood – Adult Male – Collapse – Patient conveyed to Royal Bournemouth Hospital

    West Bay – Child Male – Fitting – Patient conveyed by land vehicle

    Westbury – Elderly Male – Collapse – Patient conveyed to Bristol Royal Infirmary

    Verwood – Adult Male – Choking – Patient conveyed by land vehicle to Royal Bournemouth Hospital

     

     

     

     

     

     


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