London’s Air Ambulance, the service that delivers medical care to help save lives in the city, has revealed the number of critically injured patients it treated in 2021.

Figures show that in Croydon, 92 patients were so critically injured that they required the life-saving intervention that London’s Air Ambulance provides.

Each mission costs £2,290 and every mission can mean the difference between life and death.

Key statistics state 1,713 critically injured patients were treated in 2021 across London.

Of the 1,713 patients treated, most injuries were caused by: penetrating traumas (35 per cent), road traffic collisions (23 per cent) and falls from height (22 per cent).

20 per cent of other injuries were caused by rail incidents, industrial accidents, drownings, and medical emergencies including cardiac arrest.

The age range of patients spanned 92 years - with the youngest patient six months and the oldest 93.

Dr Tom Hurst, Medical Director of London’s Air Ambulance, said: “Trauma can affect anyone – without any warning an ordinary day can become the worst day of that person’s life.

"Our job is to make sure that when that happens, we can get to that patient as quickly as possible to perform the most cutting-edge treatments that will give them the best chance of survival.

“In 2021 our teams were called out 1,713 times, an average of five times every single day.

“Thanks to London’s Air Ambulance’s spirit of innovation over the last 33 years, we have developed advanced procedures that mean our doctor and paramedic teams can bring the hospital to the roadside, from open heart surgery to blood transfusions.

“We will continue to innovate, to look for new ways to improve survival so we can carry on helping the most critically injured in the capital.”

The service delivers an advanced trauma team, made up of doctors and paramedics, to bring the hospital to the scene via helicopter or rapid response car when time is of the essence - the expert teams can reach anywhere in London in under 11 minutes.

Primarily funded by charitable donations, the service is also run in partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust and the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Barts Health NHS Trust provides the doctors some financial support and the helipad facilities at The Royal London Hospital.

The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust provides the paramedics and the emergency infrastructure to dispatch the service 24 hours a day.

Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, said: “We are so grateful for the support of our NHS partners, however even with their passionate backing we still need to find 89% of our income from donations and the support of generous Londoners.

“This need is even more pressing than usual, as we face a £6 million reduction in income over the next few years due to the impact of the pandemic.

“This has come at a particularly challenging time as we need to replace our helicopter fleet by 2024, at a cost of around £15 million.

“These two new helicopters are essential so that we can continue to deliver our mission to save more lives in London.

“They will be more efficient, capable of incorporating new digital capacities, will be fitted for night vision flying and will help the service continue to push medical boundaries.

“London has always backed us in our hour of need, but we need the support of people in Croydon now more than ever to keep our service flying, so that we can be there for all those patients that need us.”