Flying medics save sledge crash victim

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Doctors with the only night flying air ambulance in the country have saved the life of a schoolgirl seriously injured in a sledging accident.

The Magpas Helimedix team carried the 11-year-old girl from the Irchester Road area of Rushden through snow in sub-zero temperatures on Saturday evening to airlift her to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after she suffered serious head injuries swerving to avoid a dog while sledging.

Dr Fiona Bowles from Magpas said: “I must highlight that without Magpas Helimedix, this little girl would not have been able to get to the right hospital in the right time.

“Magpas Helimedix is the only dedicated night time air ambulance with a highly-trained doctor and paramedic on board in the whole of the UK.

“Keeping the patient warm while wading through snow was the biggest challenge. I am so proud of the fact that despite temperatures in the region hitting minus 17C on Saturday, her temperature was a normal 36C when she got to the hospital.”

Ground ambulance crews called in the specialists as the semi-conscious girl suffered seizures and fits.

Dr Bowles and volunteer paramedic Ryan Warwick anaesthetised the schoolgirl in her living room within 15 minutes of landing the helicopter in order to protect her brain.

She was then airlifted to Addenbrooke’s with the medics providing critical care on route.

On arrival her condition was described as serious but stable and by yesterday afternoon she was awake surrounded by her family.

Dr Bowles said: “The EEAST ambulance crew and BASICS doctor who were also on the scene were brilliant.”

A Magpas spokesman said: “It was a serious head injury. That’s when minutes count.

“The knock-on effect is that it’s potentially life-threatening.”