The Air Ambulance Service's Charlotte Parker talks about their new service dedicated to supporting children from the air:
This week saw the 58th anniversary of Universal Children's Day - a day created to help celebrate and protect children. Here at The Air Ambulance Service, we like to think that we'll be doing our bit to help protect children by providing them with a service that will ensure critically ill children and babies get the treatment they need as safely and as quickly as is possible.
We already have our helicopter for The Children's Air Ambulance, and early next year our lifesaving service will begin transferring poorly children from local district hospitals across England and Wales to specialist paediatric intensive care units - vastly reducing the time it currently takes to transfer children between hospitals, cutting stress and potentially saving children's lives.
The Children's Air Ambulance is a children's charity which will provide an air ambulance dedicated to providing flights for the sick children and babies that need urgent treatment at specialist paediatric intensive care units. Currently air ambulances fly patients from an accident scene to a hospital - this will be the first air ambulance devoted solely to the transfer of children rather than operating a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). The Charity will fly sick children from local hospitals in England and Wales to children's hospitals.
The need If your child fell seriously ill you'd want them to get the very best treatment they could as soon as possible. But what if that treatment was only available in London - some two hundred miles from where you live? Such transfers are currently done by land ambulance, journeys that can take many hours - and when your child is critically ill, every moment counts. In rare cases transfers might be done by military helicopters at a huge cost, or a local Air Ambulance - but what if the local Air Ambulance is out saving a life at the scene of a road accident, as they do countless times a day?
The only option previously would have been a long, uncomfortable and arduous journey by land ambulance. Now, there is The Children's Air Ambulance (TCAA). In early 2013, TCAA will begin it's transfer of children, flying to and from specialist children's hospitals, and it can't come too soon.
If you'd like to help get this vital service off the ground, donate now.