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MARS blog - A View From The Roadside

February was a busy month for me with MARS.  Overall, I was sent to 12 cases although stood down on 4 of them.  Of the cases I did attend, half were road traffic collisions (RTCs).   Two of these RTCs involved prolonged entrapments though fortunately neither were fatal.  In one case the patient had been trapped for a remarkably long time - about 22hrs before she was discovered after the crash. 

This month I flew one patient with the County Air Ambulance.  The relationship works extremely well and has been developed over several years.  As I spend about one day per week as the Clinical Lead for Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, I am still qualified as Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) aircrew.  When I drive to a serious case in Herefordshire and the County Air Ambulance also comes along, it is often advantageous for me to travel with the patient.  This is particularly the case if I have given drugs or interventions that the service wouldn’t normally use.  Often, due to the nature and severity of the injuries, this means flying the patient to either Birmingham or Bristol, for example to get to a neurosurgical unit.  The issue is then what I do with my car back at the scene, and how I get back home.  I can usually get a flight at least part of the way back with the helicopter and, in the last 8 years, I've only had to 'hitch' home from Birmingham once though it made for a 7 hour round trip.

Our dispatch seemed a lot more regular this month as perhaps we're over the worst of the winter rush and the new system is running more smoothly.

  • Total cases this month: 12
  • 'Stood down' en route (ie. I was not required, so attendance cancelled): 4  
  • Number of RTCs: 4
  • Total miles driven to incidents on blue lights: 101
  • Time spent attending incidents (doesn’t include other MARS activity such as training, equipment checking, re-stocking, fundraising, etc): 12hrs 13mins