Gen­eros­ity keeps us fly­ing to the res­cue

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Uni­ver­sal Care in Bea­cons­field is cel­e­brat­ing its 30th an­niver­sary by sup­port­ing 30 lo­cal and na­tional char­i­ties over 30 weeks from April 4 to Oc­to­ber 28. Each char­ity will re­ceive a cash do­na­tion and free use of Uni­ver­sal Care’s con­fer­ence room to use as it wishes dur­ing its al­lo­cated week. Each week, this pa­per will show­case one of the 30 char­i­ties. The 11th char­ity be­ing sup­ported is Thames Val­ley Air Am­bu­lance which has the con­fer­ence room on Thurs­day June 16

THAMES Val­ley Air Am­bu­lance has evolved over the last 16 years into one of the UK’s lead­ing air am­bu­lance char­i­ties and is push­ing the bound­aries of med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion, he­li­copter avi­a­tion and on-scene pa­tient care to de­liver a unique life-sav­ing ser­vice to pa­tients, where and when it is needed most.

Cov­er­ing the coun­ties of Buck­ing­hamshire, Ox­ford­shire and Berk­shire, TVAA is avail­able to fly 365 days a year.

The ser­vice has re­sponded to over 16,300 mis­sions since it was formed, spread evenly through­out the three coun­ties and be­yond.

Over­all 65 per cent of all cur­rent call­outs are for trauma in­ci­dents, of which more than half are road traf­fic col­li­sions.

Life threat­en­ing med­i­cal emer­gen­cies ac­count for over a quar­ter of call­outs, with col­lapse and heart at­tacks ac­count­ing for the ma­jor­ity.

The cur­rent Air­bus H135 air­craft is crewed by a team con­sist­ing of a pi­lot, doc­tor and para­medic.

The outer bound­aries of the three coun­ties are ac­ces­si­ble within 15 min­utes flight time or less from the he­li­copter’s op­er­a­tional base at RAF Ben­son in Ox­ford­shire.

The emer­gency doc­tor-led crew is able to de­liver an ad­vanced level of crit­i­cal care at the scene to sta­bilise pa­tients, iden­tify and di­ag­nose their med­i­cal needs, be­gin treat­ment and get them to the most ap­pro­pri­ate hos­pi­tal for spe­cial­ist care in the quick­est time pos­si­ble.

Med­i­cal in­no­va­tions on board have ad­vanced from ba­sic med­i­cal kits to a full-range of life-sav­ing equip­ment.

TVAA was the first air am­bu­lance to carry a hos­pi­tal stan­dard blood anal­y­sis ma­chine, shav­ing of vi­tal time in the ‘golden hour’ and we were sec­ond in the UK to carry blood on board for on scene blood trans­fu­sions.

Other equip­ment in­cludes a Lu­cas ma­chine (au­to­matic chest com­pres­sor), an ul­tra­sound ma­chine and the abil­ity for doc­tors to in­tu­bate pa­tients (gen­eral anaes­thetic) in or­der to sta­bilise their con­di­tions and safely trans­fer them to hos­pi­tal.

TVAA’s he­li­copter is spe­cially equipped for night op­er­a­tions and whilst it cur­rently op­er­ates in day­light hours, the crew are train­ing ex­ten­sively in night He­li­copter Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices in or­der to ex­tend the hours of op­er­a­tion.

The move will be a ma­jor step change for TVAA en­abling the he­li­copter and crew to bring their life-sav­ing care to the most se­ri­ously in­jured or most se­ri­ously ill peo­ple by night as well as by day.

Plans are in place for this to com­mence in early 2016.

Other en­hance­ments in­clude the ar­rival in Sum­mer 2015 of an Emer­gency Re­sponse Ve­hi­cle (ERV) al­low­ing an ad­di­tional crew to re­spond to emer­gency calls when the he­li­copter is al­ready tasked or not avail­able and pro­vide the same level of ad­vanced pre-hos­pi­tal care to those in need.

The ser­vice re­ceives no Gov­ern­ment or Na­tional Lot­tery fund­ing and is sup­ported 100 per cent by the com­mu­ni­ties of Buck­ing­hamshire, Ox­ford­shire and Berk­shire.

It is thanks to their gen­eros­ity that we can con­tinue to de­velop and im­prove our life-sav­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

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