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.
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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 A1018 slip road will remain closed while the vehicles involved in the crash are recovered and investigations are carried out.
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This is an update on the crash between a coach and a car on the A19 near Seaham in County Durham.
Incredibly, a team of medics carried out open-heart surgery at the scene.
More updates to follow,
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A collision involving a coach and a car happened ay 11am on the A19 near Seaham in County Durham.
Police have confirmed casualties, but the number is not known at this time.
The A19 has been closed to allow an air ambulance to land on the road.
Other ambulance crews, firefighters and the police are at the scene, near to the A1018 turn-off to Ryhope.