Monday, 9 June 2014

Survivor featured in TV medical documentary

Photo: Max pictured at King’s College Hospital following his accident

An Eastbourne teenager airlifted to hospital by Sussex Air Ambulance after an accident at a skate park is to be featured in Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E next week (June 18th).

Former Willingdon School pupil Max Parks, 16, suffered serious head and facial injuries when he fell 14ft while performing a stunt at Westskates.

Paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were first on scene before calling in the Air Ambulance due to the severity of Max’s injuries.

Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, landed on the industrial estate before the charity helicopter’s doctor Steph Tilston and critical care paramedic Chris Fudge carried out emergency treatment at the scene.

Dr Tilston said: “When we arrived at the skate park, Chris and I carried out a rapid assessment of Max’s injuries. He had suffered significant facial injuries and fractures which were bleeding heavily.

“He had also sustained a significant head injury and had lost consciousness which was making it very difficult for Max to get air into his lungs.

“In order to protect both his airway and his brain, we performed an emergency anaesthetic. This involved rapidly administering anaesthetic drugs and then placing a tube into in his windpipe, allowing ventilation of his lungs with oxygen.

“We then flew Max to King’s College Hospital, monitoring him all the way, giving medication to try and protect his brain from further swelling and damage.”

Captain Goddard flew Max to the major trauma centre within just 30 minutes – a journey that could have taken an hour-and-a-half by road.

The final episode of the current series of 24 Hours in A&E, called Boys Don’t Cry, shows Max arriving in the resuscitation area where Dr Tilston catalogues his injuries and treatment at scene.

Doctors at King’s needed to ensure that Max was stable before taking him to CT scan as his parents were rushed to the hospital under police escort.

"Head injuries can be so devastating,” said Dr Matt, who treated Max. “I’ve seen people die from falling from their own height.

"You worry about whether or not there’s blood inside the brain or any kind of significant force which could cause a traumatic brain injury."

Three years ago, Max was involved in another scooter accident on Eastbourne seafront which left him fighting for his life. He suffered horrific internal injuries after being impaled by the handlebars and had to be given four pints of blood.

Max was not airlifted then but in February last year the Air Ambulance started carrying blood so that transfusions can be carried out at the scene of an accident and emergency. In the first year alone, the advanced medical procedure was performed nearly 70 times.

24 Hours in A&E used more than 90 cameras to film around the clock at King’s, offering unprecedented access to one of Britain’s busiest accident and emergency departments and the Royal Television Society Award-winning programme is on every Wednesday at 9pm.

King’s College Hospital is recognised internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma.

*24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Wednesday (June 18th) at 9pm. If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to

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