The aircrew and paramedics are extremely grateful for the generous support from St Austell Brewery who have funded the new ventilator at a cost of £15,500. The Hamilton T1 transport ventilator is already having a hugely positive impact on our missions across Cornwall, specifically where our patients are having serious difficulty breathing or have stopped breathing altogether. This could be due to medical conditions such as cardiac arrests or asthma but also for certain injuries such as neck fractures or injuries to the chest or torso.
The most important thing for our aircrew to do in these cases, is to ensure that oxygen is reaching the brain as the damage caused by a lack of oxygen is often irreparable. The ventilator is invaluable to the crew when providing essential care for the patient, such as dealing with wounds, administering drugs or, indeed, pre-alerting a hospital on the radio that the helicopter is about to land.
Paramedic Stuart Croft says: “The ventilator has significantly improved the care we can give on scene. We used to have to juggle carrying the patient on a stretcher back to the helicopter (sometimes over several fields) as well as trying to breathe for them using the old ambu-bag and potentially trying to administer CPR. The ventilator is more than just an extra pair of hands however. It’s like having an intensive care ventilator with sophisticated monitoring which means it’s more like an additional member of the crew that provides a reliable basis for treatment decisions.”