HAMPSHIRE and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance responded to more than 1,500 potentially life-saving call-outs in 2021.

The charity attended 1,570 missions throughout the year – and even flew its 10,000th patient to hospital.

Cardiac arrests were the most common incidents, 491 (31% of total), closely followed by medical emergencies, such as strokes, 268 (17%), road traffic collisions, 228 (15%) and falls from height, 226 (14%).

Other incidents included rail and sporting incidents, drownings, assaults and stabbings.

December was the busiest month for the team on the front line, with 148 incidents across the region.

Charity CEO, Richard Corbett, said: "As with all front line and health services, 2021 was immensely challenging. But for our patients and their families, it was potentially life changing.

"We are so grateful to all of our supporters for allowing us to be there for the 1,570 people who needed our help last year.

"Their kindness and generosity means the most critically ill and injured patients in our region have the very best chance of survival. But we can only continue this work with each and every one of them by our side."

In April, the charity hit a significant landmark when it flew to its 10,000th patient in need of critical care when a young male was involved in a road traffic collision in Ringwood, Hampshire.

The specialist skills of the doctors and paramedics on board mean they can administer advanced medication, ventilate patients and even perform open heart surgery – all at the roadside.

Crew members administered emergency blood 37 times in 2021, most commonly used at road traffic collisions and major traumas, and, since 1 November 2018, have administered blood products 129 times.

During 2021, the team attended 887 incidents by air (56%), 683 by road (44%), 110 calls to the Isle of Wight (7%), and averaged four missions per day.

The aircraft was airborne for more than 460 hours and three emergency response vehicles covered more than 42,000 miles.

This year marks a significant year in the charity’s history, where it will be marking 15 years since it took off on its first flight in July 2007.