Among medical professionals and the emergency services, there is a widely used term – the Golden Hour. This is the vital 60 minutes following a serious accident during which there is the highest likelihood that medical treatment will prevent death.
If ever a specific reason was needed for supporting the Air Ambulance service, the Golden Hour is surely it. And National Air Ambulance Week offers the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Fieldfisher's local team, the London Air Ambulance, estimates from its base at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, a helicopter can reach any patient inside the M25 within 15 minutes.
The legal team here knows only too well the value of this prompt treatment of victims of traffic accidents, industrial accidents and incidents on the rail network since the lives of many of our clients have been saved by the red helicopter and its crew.
The charity – the London Air Ambulance receives some NHS funding, but is mainly dependent on donations - was the first in the UK to carry a senior doctor along with a paramedic at all times on a helicopter. That service has reduced the death rate in severe trauma by between 30 and 40 per cent, mainly by preventing people from bleeding to death at the side of the road, but also by restarting hearts, relieving pain, straightening limbs and administering emergency anaesthesia.
The London Air Ambulance has treated more than 35,000 patients since its inception in 1989 in response to a report by the Royal College of Surgeons that highlighted the number of patients dying unnecessarily because of the delay in prompt medical care. It estimates it treats an average of five seriously injured people every 24-hours. Not only does the crew save lives, but also reduces the recovery time of the injury and prevents life-long disability.
19-25th September 2016 is National Air Ambulance Week, celebrating the work of crews around the UK. It gives us all a fantastic opportunity to pay tribute to an outstanding service and reminds us to support the work of the crews throughout the year via fundraising and charitable events.