Childrens Air Ambulance, December 23, 2011 - The Children's Air Ambulance carried out its first rescue using its sister service Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA).
At around midday WNAA was called to assist a one month old baby who had been taken with breathing difficulties to see a GP at Stratford-upon-Avon Hospital. The baby had subsequently stopped breathing and the helicopter landed in a small grass area in the grounds of the community hospital. The mother and baby girl were flown to University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UCHW), but treatment en route stabilised the tiny patient successfully.
Dr Dhushy Kumar, WNAA Medical Director and Doctor on board for the day, said: "At UHCW there was an urgent case involving a nine-year-old patient who needed to be transferred for specialist neurosurgery to Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham. Within half an hour the boy was assessed and loaded and en route for the time critical care he needed.
"We were able to get through the worsening weather and visibility purely because our pilots are all trained to the highest level and can fly and navigate by instruments and not just by sight. It was a great team effort and a day which not only shows the value of our helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) to the community but also the value of our ability to rapidly transfer sick babies and children to get the expert care they need safely and quickly.
"While we will remain committed to the vital emergency work we carry out day to day in the local communities through WNAA and sister service; Derbyshire, Leicestershire Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA), the operational launch of our new nationwide transfer service, The Children's Air Ambulance, in 2012 will be very exciting and rewarding. We will be able to help so many more families receive the best care on offer for their sick babies and children."
The Children's Air Ambulance will be fully operational at the end of 2012 when a third bespoke helicopter will fly out of Coventry Airport. It will specialise in the transfer of sick babies and children nationwide, working closely with dedicated treatments centres and staff across the country.