Air ambulance paramedics given go-ahead to use advanced medication

The air ambulance when it landed in Rushden near Duck Street
The air ambulance when it landed in Rushden near Duck Street

Paramedics for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance will now be able to administer even more advanced care when they are called to accidents and emergencies across the county.

The life-saving paramedics have been given permission to administer two advanced drugs – ketamine for pain relief and midazolam for sedation.

Dave Roberts, clinical services and training manager for the charity, said: “Before, we were able to administer pain relief such as morphine, but this isn’t always enough when you have a patient who is suffering from severe trauma such as multiple fractures.

“Now that we can give ketamine and midazolam, we will be able to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible for the flight to hospital.

“Administering these advanced drugs means that we are able to provide our patients with the very best pre-hospital care which is what The Air Ambulance Service is always striving to achieve.”

However the air ambulance, which receives no Government or National Lottery funding, is urging members of the public to continue to donate to the charity so they have the funds needed to buy the drugs as well as other vital pieces of equipment.

Mr Roberts added: “As with anything, all of the drugs we use cost money and so we really need people to dig deep and support us so that we can continue to deliver our life-saving pre-hospital care at road traffic collisions, horse riding accidents and medical emergencies such as heart attacks.

“We attend an average of three rescue missions a day, and with each one costing approximately £1,400, every penny really does count.”

To donate to the air ambulance visit or text WNAA53 with the amount you would like to donate ie WNAA53 £5 to 70070.

You can choose to donate the following amounts of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.

Factfile on the drugs used by the air ambulance:

Advanced pain relief – £6 per dose (one – two doses given per patient)

The Air Ambulance paramedics and doctors use a variety of pain relief medication in order to make the patient more comfortable for the flight to the hospital

Tranexamic Acid – £4 per dose (one dose given per patient)

This drug is administered to casualties who are bleeding or are suspected of bleeding internally. It works to stem the blood flow until the casualty reaches hospital

Cardiac medication – Approx £5 per dose (combination of drugs used and doses can vary

Last year, approximately 11 per cent of all rescue missions attended by Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance were cardiac-related

Anaesthesia drugs – £10 – £15 per dose (one dose per patient)

Carrying a doctor on board means that the air ambulance crew can put people into a medically induced coma, which allows the doctor and paramedic to secure the patient’s airway and take control of the breathing for the flight to hospital