London’s Air Ambulance called to Bexley 28 times last year, statistics show

PUBLISHED: 16:36 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 20 March 2018

London Air Ambulance mission map for 2017. Picture: London Air Ambulance

London Air Ambulance mission map for 2017. Picture: London Air Ambulance


London’s Air Ambulance charity was called out to Bexley 28 times throughout 2017, according to statistics published by the charity.

London Air Ambulance at Buckingham Palace. Picture: London Air AmbulanceLondon Air Ambulance at Buckingham Palace. Picture: London Air Ambulance

Delivering an advanced trauma team to critically injured people in the capital, London’s Air Ambulance has released its mission statistics for 2017 to raise awareness of the work they do day and night to help save lives.

The data shows that they were dispatched to 28 trauma patients in Bexley last year.

Throughout 2017, 1,797 patients were treated across London.

Of this total, the mechanisms of injury were:

o Stabbings and shootings: 560 (31pc of total)

o Road Traffic Collisions: 533 (30pc)

o Falls from height: 412 (23pc)

o Other (including incidents on the rail network, hangings and drownings): 292 (16pc)

The charity also supported the medical response at major and significant incidents including the Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park Mosque attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.

The top three busiest boroughs were Hackney (107 patients treated), Newham (103 patients treated) and Westminster (99 patients treated).

London’s Air Ambulance treats emergency patients who face time-critical, life-threatening situations.

By helicopter or rapid response car, an advanced trauma doctor and paramedic is delivered to the patient to perform medical interventions normally only found in the hospital Emergency Department.

It takes the aircraft four minutes to fly from its base in Whitechapel to Bexley, saving precious time for a critically injured patient.

Since its inception in 1989, the team has treated over 37,000 patients and attended the majority of major incidents in London, which in the past year has included the recent attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.

Providing the 24/7 service costs £10 million per year, which is mostly funded through charitable donations.

Dr Gareth Grier, Lead Clinician at London’s Air Ambulance, said: “Our mission as a service is to provide our patients with the world’s most innovative and effective pre-hospital care.

“Sadly, through 2017 the number of missions where a patient has been stabbed or shot has risen.

“It is not unusual now for our teams to perform open chest surgery for stab wounds twice in a single day.

“This would have been unheard of a few years back.

“But our world leading treatments means that we can give these and other patients we treat the best possible chance of survival.

“Procedures such as open chest surgery at the scene have been undertaken by our service for nearly 20 years.”

Dr Grier added that interventions such as REBOA (where a balloon is fed into the major blood vessels through the leg to prevent blood loss) delivered at the roadside have continued to save lives in the capital.

He added: “We try and deliver this type of advanced care to patients, wherever and whenever a call for help comes.

“The challenge we have is to innovate further to help our patients even more.”

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