Millions to see life-saving work of hospital's major trauma team

Trauma: Level 1 banner

Millions of viewers will be given another insight into the life-saving work performed at Southampton General Hospital when Trauma: Level One returns to ITV on Tuesday (3 December).

The two-part documentary, which follows ambulance and air ambulance crews as they rescue seriously and critically ill patients from across the region, was first aired in September.

Over the course of an hour, people will follow the journeys of three patients from the scene of their injuries and emergency treatment in hospital to the start of their recoveries, with candid interviews from their rescuers, doctors and loved ones along the way.

Among the patients set to feature will be paraglider Peter Connolly, who was airlifted to Southampton General with life-threatening chest and spinal injuries after falling 30ft onto a hillside – with the moment he hit the ground captured on his head-mounted camera. 

Following initial treatment in the trauma centre, he was moved to the general intensive care unit, where his injuries meant doctors had to operate to avoid a cardiac arrest. 

Dr Andy Eynon, director of major trauma, said: “When Peter arrived in Southampton we knew he was suffering from severe and life-threatening injuries. 

“It was vitally important to identify all of these injuries quickly and have the specialist staff immediately available to treat him to give him the best chance to survive and recover.”

The programme will also introduce viewers to the stories of nine-year-old Harry Leake, who was brought in with multiple injuries after being hit by a motorcycle, and Shannon Wylie, a 20-year-old who was hit by a car and suffered a broken pelvis which left her at risk of internal bleeding.

An extra £4 million has been invested in trauma care in the south to establish the Wessex Trauma Network, which is made up of four ambulance services, seven trauma units and the major trauma centre at Southampton General.

As part of the network, patients with severe, life or limb-threatening injuries from across the region are taken direct to Southampton. During 2012/13, the team saw 335 patients with life-threatening injuries and another 301 with life-changing injuries – with 10% of cases involving children.

In June, NHS England reported the risk of death from major trauma had fallen by 20% since the introduction of regional trauma networks nationwide in April 2012.

The second episode of Trauma: Level One will be broadcast on ITV1 on Tuesday (3 December) at 10.35pm.

Posted on Friday 29 November 2013