A day in the life of paramedics with Hannah Mottershead

PUBLISHED: 15:02 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:04 13 March 2017

Magpas crew member  Dr Saad Jawaid PHOTO: Magpas

Magpas crew member Dr Saad Jawaid PHOTO: Magpas


Having just graduated with an English Language and Communication degree, the last thing I expected in my first office job, was to be observing some of the most talented Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) doctors and paramedics in the UK; literally saving lives in front of me.

Hannah Mottershead of the Magpas communications team PHOTO: MagpasHannah Mottershead of the Magpas communications team PHOTO: Magpas

I had been working in the Magpas Air Ambulance charity headquarters for a little over a month before I joined the medical team on a 12 hour night shift.

In the hours that followed, I witnessed expert medical procedures, from pulling and splinting broken bones to watching someone literally being brought back to life in their own home.

Imagine having absolutely no medical background and suddenly you’re on the side of a busy, unlit road in the middle of the night.

Someone’s in agony, his arm is dislocated and broken in numerous places after being clipped by a lorry. Well, that was exactly my situation. Fortunately for him Magpas doctor, Saad Jawaid, and paramedic Dan Read were called.

Two of the Magpas crew PHOTO: MagpasTwo of the Magpas crew PHOTO: Magpas

We sped to the incident and the medics sedated him at the scene, providing A&E level care on the road side. They pulled his arm back into its normal position, potentially saving his hand. Within minutes his arm had regained feeling and colour, and he was in a comfortable condition when we took him to hospital.

The critical care medics were also called to a man who suffered a cardiac arrest in his home.

Saad and Dan provided him with CPR, general anaesthetic and intubated him in his hallway, taking control of his breathing.

I watched them bring him back to life in front of his family.

Magpas air ambulance. Photo: MagpasMagpas air ambulance. Photo: Magpas

Another call-out involved all the emergency services - the entire scene was illuminated with blue lights. ambulance crews, paramedics, police and the fire and rescue service were all there.

How the specialist medical team behave and communicate in these circumstances is fascinating.

They develop a plan of action en route and carry it out seamlessly every time. The duo have an underlying level of synchronicity and you can see this demonstrated through everything they do at the scene.

From navigating the precarious incident sites and helping to keep all the other emergency services on the same wavelength, to providing the patient with the utmost level of care possible.

The things I experienced that night will stay with me for a very long time. It really hit home how much the enhanced Magpas team are faced with while everyone else is sleeping or going about their day to day life.

In total we went to three incidents, all of which required the specialist care Magpas Air Ambulance provides.

I witnessed the team sedate patients, provide general anaesthetic, pull and splint broken bones, perform lifesaving CPR, accompany patients to hospital, and save lives.

We travelled across several different counties and even ended up at a major trauma centre in greater London.

My 12 hour shift became a 15 hour shift. And it was all in a day’s work for the extraordinary Magpas medics.

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