Air Ambulance is key to saving life

Golden hour to get life-saving, treatment after trauma accident is crucial.

LOCALS across the Fermanagh area know all too well of the essential and life-saving service that Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (AANI) provides within rural communities.
“The Air Ambulance service is so important for rural communities,” explained fundraising manager for Fermanagh and Tyrone, Damien McAnespie.
“Everyone in Fermanagh knows how far away they are from our major trauma centres.
“Whenever a patient is waiting on a road ambulance to arrive to a rural part of Fermanagh, if it’s a particularly bad or serious accident, getting that patient to where they need to be is such a time-
critical thing.
“They speak a lot about the golden hour to get that key, life-saving, treatment that in the first hour after a trauma accident is crucial.
“Despite the best efforts of a road ambulance crew, the chances of reaching Belfast within an hour from Fermanagh are slim.
“That’s where the Air Ambulance comes in. They have a doctor and a paramedic on board of the helicopter at all times.
“Whenever a call comes in, they are airborne within five minutes from where they’re based in Lisburn and can get to anywhere within Northern Ireland in just 25 minutes.
“The far end of Fermanagh would be our furthest travelling point which would probably be in the Belleek direction or thereabouts, where the travelling time in a helicopter is 25 minutes.
“What they have in the Emergency Department of a hospital is what they carry in the helicopter. All the drugs, equipment and even blood which they are now carrying every single day.
“They’re using that blood on patients approximately twice a month, so if you combine all those factors together it greatly improves the chances of that patient surviving, keeping their limb, or preventing any major damage to their brain.”

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