London’s Air Ambulance has an international reputation for pre-hospital care and we have been delivering life-saving services since 1988. Ours was the first air ambulance team in the UK to take an experienced trauma doctor and paramedic to the scene of serious incidents – which has been shown to give patients the best chance of survival.
Dr Gareth Davies, Chair and Medical Director, says: "Since our formation in 1988, we have pioneered new medical treatments that are now used around the world. In effect, the helicopter is a mini A&E, fully equipped with a range of drugs, emergency surgical kits and monitors so treatment can begin immediately."
London’s Air Ambulance, along with the fast response car unit, forms part of The Royal London Hospital’s trauma service (ADD LINK). We are often the first medical presence after an accident, and have responded to many major incidents in London. Missions commonly involve serious road traffic collisions, falls from height, industrial accidents, assaults and injuries on the rail network.
The service delivers specialist intensive care, and is able to reach people very quickly – we can be anywhere within the M25 in under 12 minutes. This has not only saved lives, but helped more patients return to a normal life, avoiding long-term complications.
The team always includes a senior trauma doctor and a specially-trained paramedic. They perform resuscitation and advanced medical interventions, including surgical procedures, which are normally only found in a hospital emergency department. We also provide expertise in mass casualty situations, both at the scene and in hospital – and are trained in treating chemical, biological and radiological injuries.
For major incidents, the helicopter may be used to deliver further medical teams to the scene, transport equipment and blood, fly patients to the nearest hospital, or take patients out of an area to relieve the local medical facilities.
Our service continues on arrival at the Emergency Department and can include imaging, surgical intervention, intensive care, ward care and rehabilitation.