Each year, our crew are tasked to help hundreds of trauma patients across our two counties. Last year alone, trauma incidents made up 48% of the charity’s total number of missions. To ensure that the highest quality of care is provided to patients to give them the best chance of survival and recovery, the team undertakes extensive training together every month.


In November, the team held their annual procedures and surgical skills training day at our airbase. Training Leads Dr Dave Martin and Critical Care Practitioner Amy McGufficke, provide this update.

“Excellent education and training sits at the core of any effective pre-hospital emergency medical service. We need to be able to provide pre-hospital critical care in any environment or situation. In addition to simulation and case discussion whilst on shift, the whole team gathers every month for a training day. 

“This month, we held our annual procedures and surgical skills training day. Due to the nature of the incidents we attend, some of the patients we see may require a prehospital surgical procedure in order to salvage life or limb. These procedures include:

  • Amputation (removal of part of a limb)
  • Thoracostomy (creating an opening in the chest to treat a collapsed lung by removal of air or fluid)
  • Thoracotomy (to control life-threatening bleeding in the chest or heart)
  • Surgical airway (to make an opening in the front of the neck to provide oxygen and allow ventilation)
  • Resuscitative hysterotomy (emergency caesarean-section in the event of maternal cardiac arrest)

“Our November training day featured a lively interactive journal club discussion around a recent scientific paper on Fibrinogen supplementation in trauma, followed by a series of high-fidelity workshops, offering hands-on exposure to these surgical skills for the whole team, as well as drilling in neonatal resuscitation and use of the Warrior blood warming system.

Surgical skills training day

“After a morning of practice, the team ran a series of outdoor simulations using actors, vehicles, medical meat and newly acquired iSIMULATE technology. We also welcomed colleagues from South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust to take part in the training day and simulations that were held, which was fantastic for ongoing collaboration and teamwork. 

“Thank you to everyone who attended and helped to deliver this outstanding training experience.”


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