22nd Oct, 2017

Air ambulance medics take up nighttime roles

Leamington Editorial 22nd May, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

AIR ambulance chiefs are taking to the road with to save lives at night.

The night car care which will see specialist trauma doctors and critical care paramedics out on the county’s roads assisting land ambulance crews until the early hours of the morning, seven days a week.

The service, which has been developed by Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, will work in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) in Warwickshire and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) in Northamptonshire.

The cars will carry all the lifesaving equipment used on the helicopter including a defibrillator, cardiac monitor, a ventilator and an automated CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) device.

On-board doctors and paramedics will also have access to critical drugs and equipment usually available only in hospital emergency departments.

The night car service will take over from the air ambulance when darkness falls, and will operate until around 2am, 365 days per year.

The charity launched a successful appeal to meet the £69,000 cost of setting up the service and getting the car on the road.

But the charity, which receives no government funding, needs to raise an additional £200,000 per year to keep the service on the road.

Richard Clayton, director of operations for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, said: “The new service is a big investment and the charity needs everyone in Warwickshire to get behind its appeal for funds.

“This new service will undoubtedly save lives. It means the expertise of our highly trained team of trauma doctors and critical care paramedics who normally fly on the helicopter during daylight, will be available at night.

“We looked at extending the operating hours of the helicopter after dark, but it makes much more sense at this time to use a rapid response vehicle. Helicopters are severely restricted to where they can land at night, which means it could take longer to get to patients; or we might not be able to get to them at all.

“Local roads are much clearer in the evening and our pilot project demonstrated that we can reach a lot more people at night by car than by helicopter.”

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