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Gloucestershire Business News

Air ambulance has busiest year yet

Sightings of a certain bright green helicopter in the skies above Gloucestershire are becoming a much more common occurrence.

This is down to the fact that Great Western Air Ambulance's critical care team received more than 2,000 call-outs across the region last year, and this is expected to increase into 2020.

The air ambulance (GWAAC) and critical care service, which is charity funded, provides emergency medical care to the most seriously ill or injured across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.

GWAAC's critical care team consists of highly skilled critical care doctors and specialist paramedics, who bring the skills of an emergency hospital department to the scene of an incident. They have the ability to carry out life-saving interventions, such as blood transfusions or emergency anesthesia to the patient, where it's needed the most.

Last year saw an almost six per cent increase on the number of call-outs from 2018, with the crew attending over five incidents a day on average.

Cardiac arrests continue to be the most common incident that the team are called to, making up over a third of the missions, with road traffic collisions the second highest.

This increasing demand on the service means the charity needs to raise over £4 million a year to remain operational, yet they receive no day to day funding from the Government or National Lottery, relying on the generosity and support from local communities.

A former patient of the charity's services, Chris Hickey, said: "GWAAC saved my life! I had a sudden cardiac arrest and without the intervention of the air ambulance, I wouldn't be here today.

"You just never know when you might need the service and it can only keep going if it has the help of the whole community. Please give whatever you can so that someone else has the opportunity to have their life saved."

Find out how you can support GWAAC here: https://greatwesternairambulance.com/how-to-help/.

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