Busiest week on record for our crew - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
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Busiest week on record for our crew

We saw a record number of call-outs last week (12 –18 April) with the crew responding to 52 incidents across the week.

Our Critical Care Team bring the lifesaving skills of an emergency department directly to those in urgent need. Usually, they respond to around five patients a day, however, last week saw that rise to more than seven a day on average, with Friday 16th seeing them respond to 11 incidents alone in a single day.

The crew have remained right here and ready to respond throughout the whole of the COVID-19 pandemic, stepping up to support the NHS during the critical peak of the outbreak. During this time last year, they saw a significant drop in their call-outs, with just 77 incidents across the whole of April, but the recent ease in lockdown restrictions has seen numbers rise even higher than they were before the pandemic. In April 2019, they responded to 162 critically ill or injured patients, this year they are expecting a 20% increase in these figures, responding to an emergency every three hours on average this month so far.

The team have seen a significant rise in trauma-related incidents, with the charity normally experiencing a 50/50 split between medical and trauma emergencies. Last week, 77% of call-outs were trauma-related, including 13 road traffic collisions as well as falls, stabbings, and burns.

The crew’s specialist skills are incredibly important as they enable them to perform procedures usually only found in an operating theatre at the side of the roadside. Over the last week, they have used a broad range of their pre-hospital emergency care skills. From emergency blood transfusions to performing open chest surgery or placing a critically ill patient on a ventilator, the crews worked hard to improve the chance of a positive outcome for patients not expected to make it to hospital alive.

GWAAC receives no day-to-day funding from the NHS or Government and relies on the communities we serve to raise the money needed to remain operational. At the same time as the demands on our emergency response service picked up, we re-opened our shop in Westbury-on-Trym, with the support of the local community bringing in a record £4,000 in sales over the first week – more than double what is usually expected. The charity is keen to say thank you to everyone who is supporting us in these times of high demand for our service and reduced income due to lack of normal fundraising activities.

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