2014: What Cornwall Air Ambulance Did

Cornwall Air Ambulance saw an increase in missions in 2014, with a total of 713 shouts – up 5% on 2013 mission numbers.

Over half of all missions were to respond to medical emergencies, including cardiac arrests, medical collapses and several babies and toddlers with suspected Meningitis.

One in four missions were flown to patients suffering a cardiac emergency.

Nearly one in every seven missions flown was to help babies, children and teenagers, with 95 missions flown to youngsters in 2014.

The busiest month was May, with a total of 83 missions, whilst there were 5 months where crews were tasked to more than 70 incidents.

We saw an increase in the number of trauma incidents – things like road traffic collisions, sports injuries, workplace incidents and burns. These missions accounted for 40% of all missions flown.

Road traffic collisions accounted for one in every ten missions, with 72 such incidents attended. One in three of these incidents involved at least one motorcyclist, whilst one in five involved a pedestrian.

A total of 72 sports and leisure incidents were attended, including nine cycling incidents, 34 horse riders, and 15 patients involved in incidents on or around the county’s beaches.

A total of 23 missions were flown to patients injured as a result of incidents on farms or other workplaces, including a patient suffering a head injury following an industrial incident in St Dennis, a worker who was injured in an incident at Falmouth Docks, a farm worker trampled by cows near Bodmin, and a worker injured by a potato harvester near Penzance.

Cornwall Air Ambulance chief executive Paula Martin explained: “These figures show that the air ambulance really is there for anybody in their moment of need: young or old, visitor or local.

“It’s important to remember that ultimately every mission involves a patient somewhere in Cornwall in urgent need of medical care, and they have friends and family who care dearly for them.

“This charity touches the lives of thousands of people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly every year – and it’s all thanks to the Cornish residents, businesses and visitors who have supported this charity for 28 years.

“Every day we hear from airlifted patients, their friends and families, who get in touch to say thank you. It’s on behalf of these people that we want to thank the Cornish community for their support.”

St Austell saw the highest number of mission of any Cornish town, with a total of 25 missions within the town itself, and a further 32 missions taking place within five miles of the town.

60 missions were flown within a five mile radius of both Camelford and Wadebridge, whilst 70 missions were flown around Helston and the Lizard Peninsula.

52 patients were assisted on the Isles of Scilly – the equivalent of one patient every week.

The air ambulance carried out 49 inter-hospital transfers in 2014, taking patients to more appropriate hospitals, sometimes within Cornwall but also to out of county units such as the Derriford Major Trauma Centre and Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Every emergency mission flown by Cornwall Air Ambulance is funded by charitable donations and the charity must raise £3 million per year.

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