Children's air ambulance makes first landing in Southampton
The country’s first dedicated air ambulance for children has made its first landing at UHS.
The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA), launched as part of a new national emergency air transfer service, will fly critically ill babies and children from district hospitals to specialist centres in England and Wales.
Since December, TCAA has completed three successful missions and is in the process of visiting the country’s five lead paediatric intensive care units – including Southampton General Hospital – for familiarisation.
Although it will operate under national charity The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS), it will not attend rescues like other air ambulances but will solely undertake emergency transfers of children already in hospital.
Around 6,000 babies and children suffering from severe illnesses or injuries, such as meningitis, heart conditions or major trauma, need urgent specialist treatment every year and, with TCAA, transfer times will be reduced from hours to minutes compared with the same journeys by road.
Dr Iain Macintosh, director of the paediatric intensive care unit at UHS, said: “Once we have this vital service up and running, it will provide an incredible safety net for the whole country.
“Hundreds of children who would have been at risk from longer travelling times will no longer be at risk and that is a major development in the care of critically ill children.”
TCAA requires £134,000 per month to provide the service across England and Wales and is funded solely by donations and sponsorship. For more information, visit the Children's Air Ambulance website.