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East Anglian Air Ambulance celebrates 25,000 patients treated

East Anglian Air Ambulance Press Release | May 17, 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 46 seconds.

East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) has this week marked a milestone of treating 25,000 patients since its inception in 2000.

This has only been possible thanks to the kind support of others.

The charity, which receives no regular government funding, provides advanced critical care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to the most seriously ill and injured people in the region by air and road. It relies almost entirely on public donations to save lives by air and road across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. 

David Durrant from Ely is one of those who was treated by EAAA when he suffered a life-threatening cardiac arrest in November 2022.

“It was the evening of 5 November, and I was walking to the shops,” Durrant explained. “I remember the traffic being heavier than normal due to it being Bonfire Night. I hadn’t felt different or noticed anything unusual, but the last thing I remember was walking past a pub and reaching the corner of a road. “Then somebody saw me drop down to the ground.”

When the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) crew arrived, Durrant was transferred from the roadside into the back of the ambulance, where they used a defibrillator to shock him four times to restore his normal heart rhythm. In the meantime, East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) were called. 

“Dr. Patricia, Dr. Ben and critical care paramedic Andy from EAAA Anglia Two (Cambridge) reached me quickly by Rapid Response Vehicle,” David said.

The crew gave Durrant the critical care he needed at the scene to give him the best chance of surviving and recovering. This included sedating him and using a ventilator to take over his breathing ready to accompany him on the journey to hospital. 

From road traffic collisions to cardiac arrests to medical emergencies, EAAA’s specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots bring the advanced skills, equipment and medicine directly – normally only found in a specialist emergency department – to the patient’s side in the fastest time possible. 

The equipment carried by EAAA’s helicopters and rapid response vehicles enables enhanced care at the incident scene – when the patient needs it most – such as blood transfusions, advanced pain relief, sedation and anaesthesia, and surgical interventions.

Durrant is now doing well. He and his wife go dancing a couple of times a week. He swims regularly, aiming to do 50 lengths. Because he was unable to drive for six months after being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in hospital, he has also done plenty of walking. “I’ve worn out a pair of shoes!” he laughs.

Matthew Jones, CEO at East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: “Treating 25,000 people in our region since 2000 is a remarkable milestone for the charity to reach and we are both proud and grateful that we have been able to help so many people when they needed us most. It has only been possible thanks to incredible support from the individuals, businesses and communities who continue to go above and beyond to fundraise, donate and volunteer to save local lives. Their kindness and impact is extraordinary — and gives every patient treated by EAAA the best possible chance of surviving and recovering a life-threatening emergency.” 

Durrant adds: “The care EAAA gave me was excellent and efficient. I am so glad they were there! You never know what might have happened otherwise.”

This press release was prepared and distributed East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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