Busiest year ever for Devon’s Air Ambulances in 2018

“This week Devon Air Ambulance have confirmed that 2018 was the busiest year in its 27 years of operation, having assisted 1,109 patients, an increase of 12% from the previous year.

Nigel Hare, Operations Director for Devon Air Ambulance said, “We knew we had been busier, and in fact have helped an additional 119 patients in 2018.”
He added “Trauma related incidents, for example, road traffic collisions and accidental injuries equated to 49% of the patients we responded to, with the remaining 51% being medical emergencies; e.g. heart attacks or breathing problems. We are here for all ages and 121 of our missions (11%) were to under 18s. We also attended two patients who were over 100!”
Heléna Holt, CEO of Devon Air Ambulance added “Keeping the service airborne last year cost £7.5 million. Raising this amount to ensure the stability of the service is a huge task but being able to further extend our service to 2am really is testament to the fantastic supporters we have throughout Devon.”

Further interesting stats:

  • The busiest time of the day is between 12 and 1pm
  • 6% of the missions attended there was no road access
  • 16% of missions attended, we were first on scene
  • We undertook 53 jobs where both of our Air Ambulances were received, with a further 36 where a neighbouring Air Ambulance was also in attendance
  • 26% of our patients were taken to a hospital offering specialist treatment rather than the closest one, which gives the best chance of a successful outcome
  • Our critical care paramedics used their advanced clinical skills on 287 occasions
  • Busiest day of the week is Friday
  • Road traffic collisions equated to 238 (almost a third of the 732 trauma jobs attended)
  • We attended 70 motorcyclists, an increase of 20% on the previous year
  • 62 of our missions were to equestrian related incidents
  • The most common trauma injury treated was to the head, with leg injuries coming a close second and the chest third

 About Devon Air Ambulance
Devon Air Ambulance Trust is the Charity which raises the funds to keep Devon’s two Air Ambulances flying.  The service is 27 years old and is funded by the generosity of the community, businesses and friends of Devon.

Last year it cost £7.5 million to keep the service flying, helping 1109 patients, of which 11% were children. The Exeter based aircraft operates until 2am every day and since it started flying into the hours of darkness over 118 patients have been helped at night time, using our growing network of Community Landing Sites.


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