Monday, 21 May 2012

24 hours in A&E

An award-winning TV documentary is to feature the life-saving work of the doctors and paramedics who fly on the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulances.

The first episode in the new series of Channel 4’s 24 hours in A&E started last week (May 16th) and told the patient stories of Kevin from Kent and Sarah from Brighton.

Kevin was helping a friend when he fell about 8ft from scaffolding in Meopham and suffered serious head, chest and spinal injuries.

Dr Dan Roberts and critical care paramedic Chris Fudge anaesthetised him and carried out chest surgery at the scene – skills usually performed in hospital.

The father-of-four was flown to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital where 91 cameras filmed round the clock, offering unprecedented access to one of Britain’s busiest A&E departments.

Kevin was in a critical condition following his accident in January but 24 hours in A&E charts his amazing recovery from severe brain damage, 10 broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

He said: “To still be here now makes me feel a bit like a Superman character because 99 out of 100 people wouldn’t be sitting here now. It’s just unbelievable really.

“They had to do major surgery to relieve the pressure on my brain so I’m incredibly lucky.”

Sarah, from Brighton, sustained a severe head injury after falling from her pushbike as she swerved to avoid a pedestrian.

Clinical Lead Dr Malcolm Russell, Dr Magnus Nelson and critical care paramedic David Wright anaesthetised her at the road-side and flew her to King’s in just 20 minutes. The journey would have taken twice as long by road.

She also suffered brain damage and was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit but has since made a good recovery.

She said: “I don’t remember the crash and I lost the best part of four days. Most people who get these injuries are dead. These injuries normally kill people.”

24 hours in A&E is on every Wednesday at 9pm and recently won a Royal Television Society Award.

This week’s episode features the story of a horse rider who was crushed between a fence and her horse after it was spooked in Sittingbourne.

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