Devon Air Ambulance had their busiest year ever in 2021.


The crew attended over 1900 incidents across Devon and were also called to help in Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and had one mission to Hampshire.  


Of those 1900, 844 were to help patients with medical emergencies (those suffering with a medical condition) and 1050 were trauma-related incidents (accidents and injuries caused by slips, trips, falls, burns and road traffic collisions to name just a few).  


Nigel Hare, Patient Services Operations Director commented about the year:  

“Responding to 1900 missions, our Critical Care Doctors and Paramedics have had their busiest year ever. Alongside our pilots around three quarters of our deployments were by helicopter, with over 500 missions using one of our Critical Care Cars. Helping almost 1200 patients suffering from life threatening or life changing medical emergencies or traumatic injuries has required our clinicians and support staff to work tirelessly, often in challenging conditions during the pandemic, to ensure our patients were able to receive the highest level of care and have the best chance of a successful outcome. 


“People often associate Devon Air Ambulance with responding to people having accidents or sustaining serious injuries, and where last year we did respond to 275 Road Traffic Collisions and 526 incidents where people sustained traumatic injuries, nearly half the patients we respond to each year are suffering a life-threatening medical condition. In 2021, over 40% of the people we deployed to were having chest pains or suffering a cardiac arrest.” 


“With children representing 11.5% of the patients we treated, and those aged over 70, 24%, we truly are there for everyone, something only made possible by the continuing generous support of the people of Devon to whom we are incredibly grateful.” 


In 2022, the charity will focus on cardiac arrest, aiming to educate and raise awareness within our local communities that anyone can help to save the life of someone who is suffering from a Cardiac Arrest, should the need arise. 315 patients that the DAA crew attended were suffering a cardiac arrest and they accounted for the most common of all medical related missions (37%). 

Charlotte Leventis, Head of Communications at Devon Air Ambulance said: 

“As part of our Quarter One Campaign Help with all your Heart, we will be sharing news and information about cardiac arrest, including ways in which we can help to build public confidence in using defibrillators within our local communities.  


“To do this we would like to ask everyone to take part in a very quick anonymous survey about defibrillators – if you can spare just a couple of minutes to answer a handful of questions, it will really help us to shape our campaign and will give us the opportunity to be able to answer any questions and concerns that you may have.” 


“We know that swift help from a bystander can help to save a life so, we are installing a defibrillator for public use, outside each of our 19 shops. So far, we are very proud to have installations completed at the following locations: Kingsbridge, Totnes, Exmouth, Exeter - Cowick Street, St Marychurch - Torquay, Heavitree, Bideford, and Budleigh Salterton with more to follow in the coming weeks.”