Last year was a busy one for lifesaving charity Magpas Air Ambulance, as their team of specialist doctors and critical care paramedics responded to 1,264 emergency calls for help; making 2021 the charity’s busiest year in three years. With missions in Cambridgeshire accounting for 50% of those of the taskings, followed by Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.

Magpas Air Ambulance, based at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire, supports the ambulance service by bringing additional skills and treatments to the scene of a patient’s incident, which are usually only available in a hospital emergency department. These include surgical procedures, general anaesthetics and sedations, among many other interventions that not only save vital time when every second counts, but also saves lives. The Magpas medical team is made up of a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on every shift, and on average the team performed one of these potentially lifesaving procedures on average 9 times a week.

Following the same pattern as recent years, medical emergencies such as cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions and accidental injuries remained Magpas Air Ambulance’s most attended incidents, however as life has slowly been beginning to return to normal, the amount of self-harm incidents have fortunately decreased while assaults have risen.

These incidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and Magpas Air Ambulance’s 24/7 service was needed in 13 counties last year, with the annual helicopter and rapid response vehicle traveling the equivalent to 3.5 times around the circumference of the world.

Magpas Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Andy Ormiston explains, “It’s important to remember that behind the data, every statistic and figure is a person whose life is on the line. We attend the most critically ill or injured patients, and so we are trained to respond to very serious medical emergencies and make a crucial difference in those situations. Importantly we deliver this care early at the scene which can make a real difference between life and death for many patients, demonstrating the absolute need for advanced care teams like Magpas Air Ambulance.”

Lucy Chapman, Magpas Air Ambulance’s Director of Fundraising & Marketing concludes, “Despite continuing to face the challenges of the pandemic this year, it’s clear our lifesaving service is as crucial as ever for patients across counties in and around the east of England. It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of last year we were still in the thick of the pandemic and became one of only three air ambulances in the country to provide inter-hospital transfers of COVID-19 patients by air. Since then, and particularly as restrictions were eased in Spring, it’s been non-stop for our team of dedicated clinicians who continue to work every day and night to keep all of us safe.

“However they can only continue to save lives and keep families together 24/7 with the support of the communities we serve. There’s so many ways you can help keep Magpas Air Ambulance flying this year, from taking on one of our exciting challenges by skydiving, trekking, running or even walking over hot coals for the charity, or volunteering with us in the office or out and about at events, to even just making a donation – every penny really does count. Thank you!”