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Air Ambulance saved life and career of Sussex based footballer

When former Brighton and Hove Albion and Crawley Town goalkeeper, Michel Kuipers, was involved in a car crash in 2003, his life and career were left hanging in the balance.

But thanks to the quick work of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance he was able to continue the job he loved. Charlotte Wilkins reports.

New machine for Thames Valley air ambulance

An air ambulance charity is now carrying a portable blood analyser on board it's helicopter. Thames Valley And Chiltern Air Ambulance says the introduction of the i-Stat helps it to fulfil its promise of providing enhanced patient care.

Our mantra is 'bringing the hospital to the roadside' for the patient. This small portable machine gives us hospital accuracy blood results within minutes. The result of this will help us make clinical decisions for the patients, for example, information on the oxygenation, degree of hypoxia and blood salts will allow us to focus treatment and give exceptionally accurate information to the hospital on arrival. This type of practice once again steps up the level of advanced care that TVACAA delivers to its patients."

– Dr Syed Masud, Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

We have seen an increased demand for response by our air ambulance over the past year. This is testament to the quality of emergency care that our medical crew canprovide."

– Mark McGeown, chief executive officer for TVACAA

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Launch of first 24-hour air service

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance is the first to launch a 24-hour service, which will include night flights.

The charity will operate a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service from today across our region.

The air ambulance used to serve the counties at night Credit: Air ambulance

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust's state of the art helicopter operates every day of the year to save lives across our region and is capable of flying to a medical scene in less than 20 minutes.

The aircrafts allow the service to work closely with South East Coast Ambulance Service, responding to more than 1500 emergency calls every year.

The Air Ambulance night service has launched today Credit: Air ambulance

Air Ambulance to deliver 24-hour service

The air ambulance's new helicopter Credit: Kent Surrey Sussex air ambulance

A new helicopter will serve as a 24-hour air ambulance for Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The newer version of the helicopter based in Redhill will ensure the aircraft is ready for night flying in the late summer.

To prepare for the 24-hour service, the charity's specialist paramedic crew have already started delivering a medical service using a response car throughout the night.

Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, said:

"We have replaced one of our helicopters with a new version capable of night operations. While we are waiting for the necessary regulatory processes to be completed we have started operating by car during the hours of darkness."

The Tattoo that says 'thanks for saving my life'

Craig's air ambulance tattoo spans from shoulder to shoulder Credit: Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance

A former British grasstrack champion who survived a racing crash thanksto Kent Air Ambulance has had a tattoo of the helicopter done on his back in tribute to themedics who saved his life.

Nineteen year old Craig Drury suffered multiple injuries after he was catapulted from his 250cc machine in the last race of the day at Collier Street. He suffered a punctured lung, a lacerated liver, a torn spleen, broken ribs, three fractured vertebrae and a broken leg and collarbone.

Craig has since made a full recovery and has now had a tattoo of Kent AirAmbulance inked on his back by Life Family Tattoo in Sevenoaks where he lives.

Craig with air ambulance crew

He said: “I had it done because I wanted a permanent reminder that the pilot, doctor and paramedic saved my life, and to publicise the charity.

“I’ve already got six tattoos but this one runs from shoulder to shoulder and took three-and-a-half hours to do. It looks amazing.”

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Marathon runners wanted in Brighton

Cooling off after the Brighton Marathon Credit: Press Association

Runners are being urged to sign up for this year’s Brighton Marathon in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance to help fund the charity’s plans for night flying.

It costs £5million a year to keep both helicopters flying during daylight hours but this figure will rise to £6 million when a 24-hour service is launched next year.

The Air Ambulance currently has 23 charity places available for runners who can commit to raising a minimum of £500.

All Air Ambulance entrants will be given an opportunity to visit the helicopter base and meet the pilot, doctor and paramedic, subject to emergency call-outs

For more information visit the air ambulance's website.

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