Collaborative working on Air Ambulance Week | Our news

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Collaborative working on Air Ambulance Week

In 2018 patient David Summerfield was hit in the head by an unknown person at a busy London train station.

Collaborative working between London Air Ambulance and The Royal London Hospital saved his life and on Air Ambulance Week 2021, we revisit David’s story and the amazing work the 999 family does every day.

The Premier League season was in full swing on Saturday 20 October 2018. As he often did, David Summerfield had travelled from his home in Bracknell to see West Ham play in their home game that day. 

Like thousands of other fans across London and the country, he had gone with a friend, cheered on his team, and had had an otherwise normal day. At 8pm David and his friend arrived back at Waterloo station.

As they waited on the concourse for their platform to be called a man they did not know punched David in the head. The single blow caused David to fall to the floor, hitting his head hard against the ground and causing his heart to stop.

Thankfully a passing junior doctor had started CPR before paramedics arrived. This early intervention is crucial when a patient is as sick as David was, but David needed more help if he were to survive.

London’s Air Ambulance advanced trauma team were dispatched and Dr Cosmo Scurr and Paramedic Sam Margetts arrived on scene by rapid response car within 8 minutes. David had suffered a traumatic brain injury and needed the immediate advanced treatment only London’s Air Ambulance could provide.

Over the next 26 minutes the medics stabilised David on the concourse, inducing him into a coma to protect his brain from further injury. 

He was then taken by land ambulance, accompanied by London’s Air Ambulance and arrived at The Royal London Hospital less than an hour after the first 999 call. There he was handed over to the care of the world-leading Emergency Department. at The Royal London.

London’s Air Ambulance bought David vital time to get to hospital. David is now back at home, with his wife and two daughters. The effects of his brain injury continue, but thanks to London’s Air Ambulance, the emergency services and The Royal London Hospital staff, he is here to tell his story.

Three years on, David said: “I’m just overwhelmed by the amount of effort that went in to saving my life. They are incredible. I can’t believe that I’ve been saved from the trauma I received."

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