Local air ambulance responds to more call-outs in Gloucestershire in 2021 than ever before
Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) has announced that 2021 was its second busiest year on record. The Critical Care Team received a total of 1,964 call-outs to incidents across the region which includes Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, and parts of Wiltshire.
2021 saw a record number of call-outs to Gloucestershire with GWAAC tasked to 539 people requiring critical care outside of hospital. This is an increase of more than 10% compared to the previous highest year in 2019.
Fifty-eight percent of call-outs to Gloucestershire were trauma-related, and 42% percent of call-outs were medical-related. GWAAC attends more cardiac arrests than any other life-threatening emergency. In 2021, the crew responded to 139 people suffering a cardiac arrest in Gloucestershire. Road traffic collisions were the second highest reason our crew was called to the county with 87 instances in 2021.
Gloucestershire had the highest response rate for sporting-related call-outs in GWAAC’s region. The crew responded to 37 people who had suffered a sporting incident which is 7% of the total missions to Gloucestershire.
The most significant increase in tasked incidents across GWAAC’s whole region was to children and teenagers in urgent need. In 2021, 14% of GWAAC’s total call-outs were to children and teenagers; dispatches to this age group doubled from preceding years. In Gloucestershire, 12% of missions were to a child or teenager in need.
Niky, a mum from Gloucestershire, said: “You saved Jasmine’s life, and ours, that day. There is not a day that has gone by since, where we do not think of you all.”
The air ambulance and critical care service, which is charity funded, provides emergency medical care to the most seriously ill or injured in the region.
GWAAC’s crew of Critical Care Doctors, Advanced Practitioners and Specialist Paramedics bring the expertise of a hospital emergency department to the scene of an incident. These skills can make the difference between life and death. From roadside blood transfusions to performing emergency surgery to anaesthesia, the crew is specially trained to deliver pre-hospital emergency care to both children and adults.
The increasing demand for GWAAC’s service means the charity needs to raise over £4 million a year to remain operational, yet it receives no day-to-day funding from the Government or National Lottery, relying on the generosity and support from local communities.
“Having experienced our second busiest year on record and with higher than average call-outs to children, I feel very proud of the crew. They have once again shown resilience and courage, and continue to put themselves on the frontline whilst making patients the heart of everything they do.”
Anna Perry, CEO, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.
To find out more about Great Western Air Ambulance Charity’s work, its mission numbers in 2021, and how you can support the charity, visit www.gwaac.com.