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Calls for greater safety barriers on the A19 after woman dies

A campaign to improve road safety on the A19 in North Yorkshire has moved a step forward after thousands of people signed a petition backing a family's calls for change.

The family of 83-year-old Sonia Rose are calling for gaps in the road barriers to be closed after she was killed when a van careered across the carriageway into oncoming traffic and hit her car head on.

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What is emergency open-heart surgery?

The Great North Air Ambulance (library photo) Credit: The Great North Air Ambulance

A woman in her 50's has died following a crash involving a car and a coach on the A19 near Seaham in County Durham.

She passed away in hospital despite desperate attempts by Great North Air Ambulance medics, who carried out open-heart surgery at the side of the road, to save her life.

What is the procedure and how rare is it?

  • The medical name for the procedure is an emergency thoracotomy.
  • In the most basic of terms it involves opening the chest to expose the lungs and the heart to prevent the heart from 'bleeding out' in effect.
  • When the heart does this the blood builds up around the organ - pressurising it and stopping it from beating.
  • The procedure is time-critical and performed in a matter of minutes.
  • When a non-emergency thoracotomy is performed - it takes 90 minutes in a sterile operating theatre with at least five medical staff present including a surgeon and scrub nurses.

Who has performed it?

  • This procedure was first pioneered by a London Air Ambulance team who used it in an effort to save the lives of stabbing and shooting victims.
  • Their use of it at a roadside was a world first.
  • The Great North Air Ambulance has only relatively recently been able to perform this procedure in the most severe of cases.
  • It requires consultant level medical expertise and a doctor of a senior level who must be present at the scene.

A19 re-opens after heart-op surgery at crash scene

The A19 has re-opened following a collision between a coach and a car.

The road was closed for several hours, as Great North Air Ambulance trauma medics carried out open-heart surgery on a female casualty by the side of the road.

The A10The A1018 slip road remains closed.

The A1018 slip road will remain closed while the vehicles involved in the crash are recovered and investigations are carried out.

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