12 Aug 2023

London’s Air Ambulance has once again featured in a ground-breaking medical documentary that goes behind the scenes of London’s major trauma system.  

Providing fly-on-the-wall footage and unprecedented insight into the work of the service, Emergency follows the minute-by-minute decisions advanced trauma teams like ours make to treat the most serious cases in London.  

The second series – following the first in February 2022 – is being aired over four nights: 15, 16, 22 and 23 August 2023. Watch to witness life-saving interventions at the roadside, A&E critical care, cutting-edge surgery and painstaking rehabilitation. You can watch all the episodes now on Channel 4.

The London major trauma system is a world-first system of hospitals, air ambulances and paramedics that provide a safety net for the 10 million lives visiting, living and working in the city. It has improved survival rates for major trauma patients by 50%.    

Patients like Paiwand, who is featured in episode 1, being treated by London’s Air Ambulance after being hit by a lorry. The 49 year old was trapped underneath the vehicle: the medics needed to treat his crush injuries, but the fire crew also needed to lift the 29-tonne HGV to release him. 

Dr Cosmo Scurr, Consultant with London’s Air Ambulance and who attended to Paiwan, said: “Our research shows patients in this scenario often suffer severe injuries and can be at high risk of death. On arrival he was still stuck under the vehicle, in severe pain, with very limited access to clinically assess him. As a team we worked to safely gain access to Paiwand and communicate with him. We then provided sedation and pain relief, coordinating this with moving him out from under the vehicle. We manipulated his injuries, to reduce the ongoing discomfort and reduce tissue damage and bleeding, and transferred him under our care to the local major trauma centre.” 

Channel 4’s Emergency brilliantly showcases the life-saving work London’s Air Ambulance – alongside the other frontline trauma teams in London – do and the difference we can make. By showcasing what we do we hope more people will support our service, which gets 96% of its funding from public support, and show how vital it is that we’re there to respond when every second counts. 

Dr Cosmo said: “I hope viewers of the programme will see how collaborative the London trauma system is. From the moment of injury, the people of London and all the emergency services respond to help. All of these responders contribute to the care delivered and the patient’s outcome. 

“London’s Air Ambulance specialises in the treatment of the most severely injured patients in London. We provide care and expertise that is not available from the NHS-funded London Ambulance Service.  Paiwand was at high risk of severe injuries to multiple parts of his body, and many patients such as this require blood transfusion, surgical interventions and anaesthesia on scene to look after them optimally. 

“London’s Air Ambulance Charity is supported and funded by the people of London, and we are a key service that responds as part of this collaboration, to help people when they need it most.” 


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London, we need you. Time is running out to replace your life-saving helicopters.
Time is running out to replace your life-saving helicopters.