The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust prides Itself on delivering high level pre-hospital critical care management to the severely sick and injured, delivered by a team of highly trained, motivated and experienced clinicians.
Over half of the patients we treated last year were involved in a road traffic collision. A third of those patients were under 25 years old. Many suffered significant life changing injuries and have since underdone extensive surgery with long periods of rehabilitation. In 12 months, 15 young people, under 25 years old had such severe injuries that despite extensive attempts of resuscitation, they died at the scene of the accident.
Caring for young patients in extreme situations is difficult. Witnessing the anguish and devastation caused to families as a result of a sudden and catastrophic road traffic accident is undoubtedly one of the saddest and most difficult parts of our job.
National evidence and information from the traffic police tell us that young drivers are more at risk from accident than older drivers and reasons for this vary in cause, from speed, alcohol consumption, texting whilst driving, distraction and lack of driving experience.
We also know in other areas of medicine , prevention is better than a cure.
This year KSSAAT has been very proud to work alongside colleagues from Surrey Fire and Rescue, Surrey police and SECAmb as part of a national campaign to prevent injuries and death of young people on our road networks.
The ‘SAFE DRIVE STAY ALIVE’ campaign is aimed at young drivers and teenagers at school or college who are reaching driving age.
The campaign consists of a hard hitting live theatrical production presented during November to over 12,000 young people from schools and colleges around Surrey. It includes a film that follows the real lives of five young people involved in serious road traffic accidents. It highlights the distractions that causes accidents, and illustrates the impact that these accidents have on the young driver, their friends and families.
The production introduces members of the emergency services who recount their stories, live on a stage to the audience. The families of the victims explain how their lives have changed as a result of losing a member of their family in a car accident. Patients tell their own moving and emotional story.
This year KSSAAT were involved in making the film for the production, using Redhill Aerodrome as the film location, and taking part in a dramatic reconstruction of a serious accident scene. In November, KSSAAT supported the campaign during their live shows.
Stu Plumbley, Critical Care Paramedic said. "As a member of this team I am convinced that this will contribute to a reduction in the number of young people who die unnecessarily on our roads and I am very proud to represent KSSAAT in this campaign."