26-Jan-2023 Source: Devon Air Ambulance
Mission statistics for 2022 reveal just how vital the response of the Devon Air Ambulance medical emergency service is to the people of Devon, as they experience another incredibly busy year.
Throughout another challenging year for many public services and charities, the crew at Devon Air Ambulance has been tasked to attend over 1828 incidents across Devon and were also called to assist across our borders in neighbouring counties of Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.
Of those 1828 missions, 887 were to help patients with medical emergencies (those suffering with a medical condition) and 929 were trauma-related incidents (accidents and injuries caused by slips, trips, falls, burns and road traffic collisions to name just a few).
Nigel Hare, Patient Services Operations Director said:
“I would like to pay tribute to our Critical Care Doctors and Paramedics who every day deliver time-critical life-saving care to patients in challenging circumstances. This is only possible thanks to the team working tirelessly behind the scenes who ensure our helicopters, Critical Care Cars and medical equipment are always ready to respond. They identify and dispatch our crews to the patients most in need of our help, provide ongoing support to our patients and their families, and manage our service in the ‘Outstanding’ way that the Care Quality Commission found during their inspection in June.”
In 2022, the charity will continue to focus on cardiac arrest, aiming to educate and raise awareness within local communities that, should the need arise, anyone can help to save the life of someone who is suffering from a Cardiac Arrest. 360 patients that the DAA crew responded to last year were suffering a cardiac arrest and they accounted for the most common of all medical related missions (30%). This was an increase from the 315 patients suffering a Cardiac Arrest in 2021.
Charlotte Leventis, Head of Communications at Devon Air Ambulance said:
“Following the launch of our ‘Help with all your Heart’ campaign last year, we will continue to reach as many people in our local communities through our public CPR & defibrillator training days as possible, sharing first hand, the knowledge of our Specialist Paramedics in Critical Care. Our aim is to build public confidence in using a defibrillator, many of which are now installed in our shops, public places and within our local communities.
Our first two CPR & Defibrillator training events for 2023 are now confirmed: Feb 3rd at Alphington Community Centre and Feb 23rd at Colebrooke Village Hall. There are four 90 minute sessions available at each location, so please do come along if you can – you could help to save a life.”
In 2022, crews assisted 749 male and 419 female patients and 109 children (Age 0-17) who also needed their expert care. July remains DAA’s busiest month of the year and Friday was their busiest day of the week. Sadly, road traffic collisions remain high on the charities incident report and 2022 saw them tasked to 294 road traffic collisions on Devon’s roads. 292 missions were in the hours of darkness where many of the charity’s Community Landing Sites were used to enable the aircraft to land safely and equestrian related incidents 43, were the highest of the missions related to those taking part in their sport or leisure activity.
A 100% Independent service
It is important to remember that this service is not Government funded and although DAA works together with land ambulance crews at the scene, the charity is not part of the NHS. DAA is funded by the kind generosity of the people of Devon and their expert clinicians are tasked to incidents when an enhanced level of specialist care is required and when minutes really matter. This time-critical treatment would not otherwise be available to the patient until they reached a hospital emergency department.
In addition to the 1828 missions that the Helicopters and Critical Care Cars were tasked to, the Devon Air Ambulance Specialist Paramedics involved in the charity’s Volunteer Responder Scheme (VRS) were tasked to 58 missions across the county, in their own time. Of these incidents, 24 were trauma related and 34 were due to a medical emergency.
Lee Hilton, DAA Advanced Paramedic in Critical Care and VRS responder commented:
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to extend our provision of care beyond that offered by our fleet of helicopters and critical care cars. The VRS has been able to support patients at large scale incidents and when our core teams were already committed to helping other patients. Having our volunteers available and able to respond has allowed Devon Air Ambulance to continue to meet the unpredictable demands of prehospital critical care.
None of these innovative solutions would be possible without the continued support of every one of our dedicated supporters. On behalf of Devon Air Ambulance, I would like to say a huge thank you to our community who not only keep us responding, they provide us with the opportunity to be a forward thinking, innovative organisation too.”
For more information on the VRS, please visits daatcl.co.uk/vrs or watch the VRS video here: https://youtu.be/ZMyNPprKk4Q
It’s thanks to kind and generous supporters across Devon and beyond that this life-saving charity continues to deliver expert time-critical care every day of the year. If you feel you can lend your support by making a donation, you will be helping to make a life-saving difference and who knows when we might need them. Donate at www.daat.org