An hour to save your life

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Monday 17th March 2014 – 10.15am – Murray MacGregor.

Staff from West Midlands Ambulance service are set to appear in a dramatic and often heart wrenching three part television documentary series about the care of some of the most seriously ill and injured patients they deal with.

‘An Hour To Save Your Life’, which has been showing on BBC 2, explores in forensic detail the dilemmas and innovations at the frontline of emergency medicine. Following the lead clinicians as they respond to the most critical of cases, the series will offer a unique insight into the minute-by-minute decisions that are made in the fight for life.

The moment an emergency call is made, a clock starts ticking. The expert medical attention a patient receives in this first hour is critical and could mean the difference between life or death.

Where once an ambulance took a patient to the nearest hospital, now the fight to save lives begins at the roadside, with specialist doctors and ambulance staff working together to undertake complex procedures at the scene. The more quickly they can act, the higher the patient’s chances of survival.

The series looks at patients with critical trauma injuries, new treatments around heart attacks and cardiac arrests as well as stroke care.

The programme, which airs tomorrow Tuesday 18th March at 9.00pm, will feature a motorcyclist who was critically injured in Shropshire and a Stroke patient in Birmingham.

WMAS Medical Director, Dr Andy Carson, said: “What these cases demonstrate is the incredibly high level of care that is now available throughout the West Midlands. We are fortunate to have a world leading trauma initiative in MERIT (Major Emergency Response Intervention Team) operating in the region. This means that there is a highly skilled trauma doctor available to respond to incidents day and night either on an air ambulance or a unique response vehicle.

“Our staff have received additional training in both trauma and stroke care which means that the lives of many more patients are being saved every day. For those patients unlucky enough to suffer from such a condition, the early intervention means that many of them are not only surviving the initial onset of symptoms, but their quality of life after treatment is significantly improved.”

BBC Commissioning Editor, Tom McDonald, said: “I’m really excited that programme makers Boundless have brought such forensic detail and fresh insight to the medical documentary genre. By looking at each individual case from a second-by-second perspective, BBC Two viewers will understand frontline emergency care in an entirely new way. There’s extraordinary science innovation in the field of emergency medicine and we’re honoured to have had such privileged access to the pioneering teams on the frontline.”

Ends

Written by officialwmas

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) covers a geographical area of approximately 5,000 square miles and serves a population of 5.6 million people living in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Birmingham & the Black Country conurbation. The Trust has a total number of 4000 members of staff and uses 864 vehicles.

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