Last year (1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017), Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance flew a total of 886 missions; an increase of 31% on the previous year. Of these missions, 648 (73%) patients were assessed and treated by our Critical Care Team. One third of the patients treated had traumatic injuries, one third had a medical illness and one third had suffered a cardiac arrest.

As part of their emergency treatment, 82 patients required an out of hospital general anaesthetic, of which 11 of these were children. Twenty-five patients required pre-hospital blood products and 90 patients received advanced pain relief. Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance also provided 12 inter-hospital transfers of patients from local hospital intensive care units to the regional specialist intensive care units in Southampton and Bristol.

When patients are critically ill or injured, a key element in their survival is arriving at a hospital with the specialist expertise to enable immediate life saving care. Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance plays a key role in this chain of survival as our clinical team stabilise patients whilst the aviation team enable vast distances to be travelled rapidly.

Over the past year, 97 severely injured patients were safely transferred directly to regional major trauma centres where they could benefit from the collected expertise of the clinicians within these hospitals. Additionally, 145 patients were transferred directly from incident scenes to regional cardiac centres for procedures on their coronary arteries.