James Trenchard was riding a new demonstrator motorcycle on a test ride when a deer ran out in front of him. He was thrown off his bike into an oncoming car. James does not remember too much about the incident as he went in and out of consciousness, however, he remembers hearing the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance helicopter flying overhead.

Any memory of the treatment I received is a little bit vague, however, I remember the noise of the aircraft and being comforted by the air ambulance crew during my transfer to hospital. Fortunately, the charity’s patient and family liaison nurses have helped piece together some of the things I do not remember, information about the treatment I was given, while also helping with my recovery process.

The motorcycle incident and arrival of ambulance services

James was initially attended by a land ambulance who performed his initial assessment. The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance outreach car also arrived at the scene and requested our critical care team on the aircraft (Helimed10), due to the significant mechanism of James’s injury. When they arrived, James was already on the ambulance stretcher, being kept warm and his spine was immobilised in a collar. A binder had been placed around his pelvis in case of any internal bleeding and Ketamine had been administered for his pain.

After further assessment by the air ambulance team, James was initially stable, however, subsequently his blood pressure dropped (which can be a sign of internal bleeding in a trauma patient). The team put in another cannula, through which you can give medicine quickly, then gave him some plasma. Plasma is a blood component which helps increase blood pressure by increasing your circulating blood volume. It also helps your blood clot if there is any ongoing bleeding.

James’s blood pressure improved after receiving this treatment and he was subsequently flown to Southampton Hospital. Upon landing, James was complaining of being in pain, so further pain-killing medication was administered. He was then handed over to the hospital team in the Emergency Department resuscitation area.

James' injuries and recovery

James T DSAA Patient

My injuries included several rib fractures, internal large vessel injury, complex left femur fracture, right arm fracture and a fracture of one of the vertebrae in my spine. In total, I spent three weeks and one day in Southampton Hospital. After being discharged home, my recovery has been quick in some ways and slow and frustrating in others. I have been very focused on getting my mobility back and having as much independence as possible.

I am back driving and now just walking with a stick. My family and friends have been amazing and so supportive. DSAA played a crucial role in saving my life. I hope that by sharing my story it helps to raise awareness of the great things that the service does with so many others.

The DSAA team that attended James’s incident were: Michelle Walker, Dave Martin, Ben Channon, Paul Nolan and Jack Cook. Also in attendance from the ambulance service were: Philip Shinton and Andrew White.

If you've been inspired by James' story and would like to help us to continue saving lives, we would be grateful to receive your donation. No matter how big or small, every penny donated really will make a big difference! Thank you.

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NEXT: Betty's Story