Generosity keeps us flying to the rescue
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.