Browse content similar to Episode 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
If you're seriously ill or critically injured up here,
your life is in real danger.
Complaining of severe pain.
Mid-30s, been ejected from a vehicle.
Hospital's an hour away by road
and speed is the only thing that can save you.
Yeah, roger, Helimed 99 is en route to you, over.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and its highly-trained paramedics
are scrambled 1,000 times a year.
Tell me exactly what's happened.
A small child on the path, they've cut the corner and ran over him.
Many of its ex-military pilots flew the SAS into action.
That's not a suitable landing site. This one here is.
Welcome to the life and death world of the Helicopter Heroes.
Today on Helicopter Heroes,
a rambler's badly hurt after a bizarre attack
by a herd of cows.
One up and ran forward, put its nose underneath my wife's backside
and flipped her into the air.
I don't think we're going to get down there.
There's a major rescue operation high in the Peak District.
Where's the pain? Round the back of your head?
A new life in the country leaves some newcomers seriously injured.
One on a horse, one on a pushbike.
The horse basically jumped over the gentleman on the pushbike.
And why this woman owes this man her life.
Millions enjoy the right to roam the English countryside.
They come to enjoy the peace, the quiet and the beauty.
But behind these hedgerows lurks a danger
few bother to give a second thought.
The hillsides of the Yorkshire Dales
are a vital part of a multi-million pound industry
with a worldwide reputation.
And this is the workforce.
Every day, thousands of cows produce hundreds of gallons of milk
to make Wensleydale cheese.
It's a major export business,
making the market town of Hawes the cheese capital of the North.
But today, one herd is at the centre of an unusual emergency.
We've been called to an incident near Lofthouse up in North Yorkshire.
Apparently, somebody's been trampled on by some cows.
We're not quite sure of the injuries as yet.
We've had problems before where people have been trampled by cows.
You can get quite substantial trauma injuries from it.
Irene Pitham and her husband Mike
were on a walking holiday in the Dales.
Now she's lying seriously injured in a field.
Local paramedics are already on the scene
and farm workers are trying to keep the cows at bay.
We were walking across the field
and the cows with their calves came towards us.
They seemed to ease back and then one of them ran forwards
and just put its nose underneath my wife's backside
and flipped her into the air.
She went right over the top and then, thump, hit the ground
and then didn't move. And I just feared the worst.
She didn't seem to be breathing or anything.
Irene has a nasty head injury.
Cows are especially aggressive when they have calves.
They're thought to have reacted to the Pithams' dog, Cassie.
I've got a chopper coming down.
But now the cows are a problem for pilot Steve Cobb.
If he's not careful,
he could spook them into returning to the area where Irene is lying.
-Just this side of it, there's a wall here.
-Just this side of the building.
Steve's making sure he lands behind the team's patient
so that if the chopper scares the cows, they'll run away from Irene.
Out walking their dog, by the looks of it.
-Are you going to hop out?
-Yeah, mate, yeah.
It's less than 15 minutes since the 999 call.
Saves climbing over, like we normally have to do!
And now Irene has four paramedics to take care of her,
despite the fact they're in a remote area of Nidderdale.
-Right, how we doing?
This is Irene. She's landed pretty much this position.
She's managed to put her arm underneath her to hold herself up.
A mature cow can weigh half a ton and, because muscle makes meat,
they have been bred to have the strength to match their bulk.
Irene's taken the full force of it.
Apparently the cow did
toss her up into the air,
so she's been thrown quite a distance,
so there's potential for all sorts of other, internal injuries.
How much pain are you in, Irene?
-It's just this shoulder.
-Just this left shoulder.
The Helimed team have been to fatal incidents like this.
They know their patient's injuries could be life threatening.
-Just try and relax there.
-OK, no pain in your hips at all?
The Pithams are experienced ramblers and knew cows could be dangerous
but the attack took both of them by surprise.
I don't think people realise,
but a good half-ton of angry beefburger can be pretty dangerous
and lots of people get injured every year, and killed, by cows,
especially when they've got their young with them.
And especially if you've got a dog with you. I think the advice
is, if you're in that situation, that you're supposed to let your dog go.
And the cows will chase your dog, not you.
But obviously, people's reaction is to protect their pets
and I think this is probably what's happened in this case.
Irene's lying where she fell,
but Tony's concerned the impact with the ground
could have damaged her back or neck.
She's going to be carefully rolled onto a spinal board
to protect her spine.
What you need to do now is relax and let us move you, OK?
On three. One, two, three.
-OK, just relax. Just relax.
The cows are still only yards away
and the team know animals can return to trample injured victims.
They want their patient and their colleagues
out of the field as quickly as possible.
This helicopter can deliver lifesaving care quickly,
to places ordinary ambulances could never reach.
But some patients are injured in places SO remote
they are beyond the help even of the Helimed team.
The Peak District has some of the most spectacular scenery
in the country.
And the most rugged terrain attracts the most adventurous people.
Today, a walker from Cornwall has fallen nearly 20 feet
down a steep, rocky gully.
On the land and in the air, help is on its way.
We're on the way down to the Peak District.
We think it's a climber that's fallen about 10 feet.
We've since managed to get an update from Mountain Rescue in that area,
and it appears he may have sustained quite serious head injuries.
Kinder Scout is the highest mountain in the Peak District,
a vast plateau covering more than 5,000 acres.
Finding someone stuck in a gully around here isn't an easy job.
-The right sort of area.
We've got a Mountain Rescue vehicle coming up about five o'clock,
by the looks of things.
Can't identify it, so you know, though there are two members
of looks like Mountain Rescue walking up the path in this valley.
I've directed them in towards where we believe the casualty site to be
and they're hovering about now.
Dave Mason's gone up that way. We're definitely in the right area.
More than a dozen Mountain Rescue volunteers have turned out,
but it's a long trek from the valley bottom.
Yeah, I've got a reference, right at the bottom of the sheer terrain.
Meanwhile, the crew of Helimed 98
think they've finally found where they need to be.
Right now, they're below us, yeah. Bloke with the red top on.
But now they need to work out how to get to their patient.
I don't think we're going to get down there.
Steve lands the helicopter at the top of the steep valley.
But the heather and moorland peat is causing problems.
-Feel like it's sinking?
-A little bit, yeah.
-Shall I just check the rear, Steve?
-Yeah, if you would, mate.
Yeah, we're fine at that. It looks fine.
It's stuck into the heather, but nothing other than that.
98, we're looking at access where we are, up at the top of this ravine.
I don't think we're going to get anywhere near this patient,
without going all the way back down.
So I think it is going to require a winch out.
As paramedics Pete and Darrell try to get to their patient from above,
the Mountain Rescue team are arriving from below.
-Do you want the O2 on, gents?
We've got some oxygen here for you, Stefanie, OK?
What we need to do is try and pop a needle in your hand as well.
What we can do is we can give you some pain relief then, my love.
Stefanie Helmle is badly injured and couldn't be in a trickier spot.
She's right at the bottom of a rocky waterfall,
having just fallen from where Pete and Darrell are now heading.
'They've just managed to call me up here. From where you're going,
'from the aircraft, you're right above the patient
'and they're a bit concerned you might dislodge some rock.
'One of them's going to try and call you, actually, on your handset.'
She's fallen about 18 feet, possibly landed on her head.
Not had a loss of consciousness, but we have had possibly some discharge
from the left ear and the nose.
Stefanie is in agony.
Luckily for her, one of the mountain rescue team is a trained paramedic.
-..When she fell.
-Where's the pain round the back of your head?
-Can you feel me touching you there?
-Where it's resting on the stone.
-Where it's resting on the stone.
Stefanie bounced off several rocks as she fell, landing on her head.
It looks like she's fractured her skull,
and fluid's leaking from her ear.
-I'm just struggling to get down there.
How's the patient?
How's the patient?
We've got to a position where, if we needed to, in an extreme emergency,
I dare say we could get down to the patient,
but it's quite a precarious drop down there.
Mountain Rescue have got a couple of paramedics amongst their crew
as well as a doctor. They're assessing the patient.
They believe they've possibly got a serious back injury
and potentially a head injury.
At times like this, even the Helimed team need help.
That sounds like a Sea King, that, doesn't it?
So the RAF have arrived.
Their much bigger Sea King helicopter can winch patients
without them needing to land.
But even for them, this is going to be a tricky rescue.
Bit hard to hear. That's the military hovering over us at the moment.
It will feel a little bit weird.
It'll be noisy, but, really, trust them, they know what they're doing.
Before Stefanie can be hauled up, their winch man must come down.
The high winds and steep gully make this a dangerous job.
But with Stefanie's serious injuries,
they need to get her to hospital quickly.
And the only way out will be straight up.
Many people dream of retiring to a rural area,
to a cottage with land and some animals.
But for one family of city dwellers,
that dream turned sour in a very unexpected way.
Rural North Yorkshire is a county
where horses almost outnumber people.
And today, Helimed 98 has been scrambled to a bizarre accident.
A fall of a horse, onto a pushbike
and the pushbike has got a head injury.
Got a horse on your right at two o'clock.
On a country lane near the market town of Easingwold,
a couple are lying injured. Paramedic Lee Davison's first task
is to decide which patient is most seriously hurt.
-Is it just one person involved?
-No, two people.
-Have you been knocked out?
OK, just sit tight, somebody else is coming to you, OK?
-Hello. Hello, sir.
-Hello, air ambulance, all right?
-Hi. What's your first name?
-Ian? OK. Nice and steady.
Nicky Schofield was out riding her horse.
Her husband Ian was accompanying her on his mountain bike.
Then a passing car spooked Nicky's horse,
which knocked Ian off his bike, and threw his wife.
First of all, I'm just going to have a feel down your neck, OK?
If you'll just give me a hand a second, just stand in front of him.
Ian was knocked out and he has a head injury
but Lee's more concerned about his neck.
holding it will prevent any further damage.
Any pain there? No?
I was working in that field
and witnessed a husband and wife coming along, one on a horse,
one on a pushbike. A car came racing down the narrow road.
The horse basically jumped over the gentleman on the pushbike,
knocking him off the pushbike and presumably standing on it.
I wasn't much help with this on me hand!
-It's my shoulder.
-What's actually happened then?
We were slowing down and then she was getting a bit jittery
-but I managed to hold her. But this car shot...
-Right behind you.
Paramedic James Vine's taking care of Nicky.
She's obviously in severe pain. Her collar bone is fractured.
You've fractured your clavicle, sweetheart.
OK, so, let's just get you sorted, get you comfortable.
Take a deep breath for me.
Is that painful, when I'm pressing to the right?
-(No, it's when I breathe in.)
-When you breathe in, OK.
You've got a little head injury, where you've banged your head.
The gentleman thinks you have been knocked out.
I'll just pop this sling on, sweetheart.
OK, I'm just coming under here, sweetheart.
Witnesses led Nicky's horse away...
..but she's more concerned about her husband.
We usually go together.
Lee's getting him all sorted, don't worry.
-Your husband will probably come with us just as a precaution.
We're very probably going to James.
Nicky will be going to hospital by road, but Ian's more seriously hurt.
Deep breath for me, Ian.
OK, good lad.
Lee is treating Ian as if he has an undiagnosed spinal injury,
but he fears his patient may also have a collapsed lung.
Decreased breath sound. We're going to roll him towards you.
Everybody happy with that?
One, two, three.
Nice and steady. OK. Where does that hurt?
Where's that hurting? Is there any pain there?
I can't see anything on his back either. Right, OK.
Back on three. One, two, three.
-Let's have a quick look at this hip while we're here.
-Nicky may have injured her pelvis.
The accident has come as a terrible shock and she's worried about husband Ian.
He recently retired early because of a heart condition.
We're going to put a sling around your pelvis to make everything is fine with that before we move.
OK? It's going to be sore. And then we'll get you onto a hardboard and into the ambulance. OK, sweetheart?
They're taking Ian straight to Leeds General Infirmary.
If his lung has collapsed, his ability to take in oxygen will be seriously affected.
The last thing Lee wants is for that to be made worse by air sickness.
A little bit noisy, but if you start to feel really sick, let me know -
it's important that I know - by raising your hand up, OK?
Two patients - one will be transported by land.
It looks like the horserider has a fractured pelvis,
and certainly a fractured clavicle.
The gentleman that we've got is the cyclist whose wife has landed
on his head and pushed him off the bike cos the car spooked the horse.
We're going over to LGI to a neuro-centre and just let them do what they do best.
But at 150mph, Leeds General Infirmary is just 15 minutes away
and Ian will soon be undergoing tests on his back and lungs.
One, two, three.
All right, OK? We're on the helipad on top of the LGI now.
We're going to A&E. There'll be a few doctors asking questions. I'll hand over.
He's badly hurt, but he soon responds to treatment
and two days later, is sitting up in bed.
As I was looking over my shoulder, I noticed beyond my wife,
just some distance behind her, a car approaching at some speed.
And then as I turned to look ahead,
there was a kind of loud screeching noise and then I felt...
I could feel the horse in my back.
Well, I've got lacerations to my head and elbows and knees,
which I think are consistent with going onto the road.
I also have some fractured ribs
and a punctured lung.
Having several horses to look after means you can't afford to be ill for too long,
and within a few weeks, the Schofields are back in the paddock.
It's really great to be back. It was difficult in the first couple of weeks because obviously
we were still getting over the worst of our injuries, really.
As the weeks have gone by, we've managed to more mobile and active,
which means that we can work with the horses more than we did.
The Schofields moved from the city to their new home in the country to get away from traffic
and to indulge their love of animals.
But they've just discovered the dangers of rural roads the hard way.
Ian was knocked unconscious. I remember when it happened,
just lying at the side of the road
and seeing Ian lying there and I didn't know what had happened to him
so I just remember feeling really sore and sick, you know, injured.
I was in Harrogate Hospital and I went into the resus room in A&E.
They actually rang the LGI for me
while I was in there to see how he was.
That was a relief because I knew he was OK.
The accident's had one good result for the Schofields -
the neighbours have rallied round to help the newcomers.
Everyone around here knows us! They say, "Oh, you're the one on the bike and the horse."
Now let's return to the case of the ramblers attacked by a herd of cows in the Yorkshire Dales,
and one of them is lucky to be alive.
In a field in Nidderdale, a rambler is being prepared
for an emergency flight to hospital after a bizarre attack by a herd of cows.
-I got knocked out then.
-You were for a bit, briefly.
-Not surprising, though.
-Irene Pitham and her husband Mike were out for a walk
when their dog apparently spooked the animals.
We've always managed to anticipate what they were doing,
but these, the cows just ran straight at us.
They were obviously protecting their calves that they had,
but this being a standard footpath...
never thought that they would be that aggressive.
Irene's confused and showing the symptoms of a head injury.
-It looks like you came into close contact with a cow.
It looks like it's thrown you in the air and obviously you've landed.
There's no major injuries.
You might have been knocked out, that's our main concern.
But you're coming round now, aren't you?
Your shoulder, we can't see any obvious fractures,
but you never know until you X-ray quite often.
Paramedic Al is trying to keep her spirits up with some humour.
When you get home tonight, Irene, get your own back by having a steak, love!
-I bet you could do without idiots like me, though.
-I don't think you did anything!
Irene and her husband are on a break away from their home in Coventry.
They're staying at a holiday cottage in Nidderdale.
Now Irene's about to take an unscheduled trip to A&E in Harrogate.
It's two minutes since Tony explained what happened.
-What happened? I'm so sorry.
But Irene's forgotten already.
What's happened is you were walking across a field of cows
with your dog and the cows had calves so I think
they've taken a bit of exception to your dog and charged you.
The flight to Harrogate will take just seven minutes.
This is the kind of countryside in which helicopters come into their own.
INDISTINCT RADIO COMMUNICATION
'Taking a break en route to Harrogate. Requesting service, please...'
The roads of the Dales are winding and crowded in the holiday season.
Helimed 99 can do 150 miles an hour, but it's not just speed that matters -
the smoothness of the flight will also be much more comfortable for Irene.
A trauma team is awaiting the chopper's arrival.
They've been warned Irene could have serious but as yet undiagnosed injuries.
She's been walking through a farmer's field with her husband and her dog.
There were a herd of cows. She can't remember what happened.
One of the cows headbutted her, threw her into the air, she's landed on the floor.
Injury-wise, all she's complaining of is pain localised to her left shoulder.
No obvious fracture or dislocation.
She's in pain. Initially scoring six out of ten.
You OK there, Irene? All right.
It's just a bit bumpy while we get you down to the hospital, OK.
Over the next 24 hours,
neurological tests will reveal the extent of Irene's injuries.
Back at their holiday cottage,
it'll be an anxious night for her husband Mike.
Back in the Derbyshire Peak District, mountain rescue teams
are trying to save a climber badly injured in a fall.
The helimed team can't reach her.
But the RAF are about to come to the rescue.
-There's some gauze in my bag.
Stefanie Helmle needs to get to hospital fast.
She's fallen nearly 20 feet down a rocky gully in one of the most
remote parts of the Peak District.
The crew of Helimed 98 can't get to her. They're now at the top of the waterfall she's just tumbled down,
but their lifesaving kit could still make a difference.
Yeah. We ain't going to get a cylinder down to him, are we?
If we drop it, there's a risk of explosion.
Stefanie's condition is getting worse.
Fluid's leaking from her ear
and it looks like she's fractured her skull in the fall.
We'll put a pelvic sling around your pelvis. I know you've got no pain there,
but because you've fallen,
you've banged your head so we're going to suspect that as well.
The paramedic from the mountain rescue team needs to stay with Stefanie on her trip to hospital.
So James Stubbley is first to be winched into the RAF's Sea King helicopter.
The downdraught created by the six-tonne helicopter is immense.
There's a real risk of loose rocks falling onto the rescuers, and onto their patient.
They need to get Stefanie out of the gully, and up to the helicopter.
The skill required to keep a helicopter stable in a situation like this is incredible.
But this is something the RAF continuously train for.
Carrying Stefanie out from this isolated mountainside could have
seriously worsened her injuries and would have taken more than an hour.
But, after this huge team effort, she'll be in hospital in minutes.
And Stefanie's no stranger to hospitals.
She works as a doctor in Cornwall, but is now on the receiving end
of treatment for a long list of injuries.
It's been strange to have the experience of being a patient rather than a doctor.
I have two skull fractures, I have a bleed inside my brain,
I have three fractured vertebrae.
I think I've also got six fractured ribs, and I've got a punctured lung.
It had been a summer walking holiday that had brought her to the Peak District.
And a moment's lapse in concentration that left her tumbling down the mountainside.
Paramedics are trained to treat every injury as potentially fatal, but caution saves lives.
And many patients are alive today
thanks to paramedics and doctors who played it safe.
On a moorland road high in the Pennines,
ice has caused a serious accident.
A midwife was driving to an early morning delivery
when her 4x4 skidded and overturned several times.
Helimed 99's on the case.
For the last half hour, off duty fireman Kelvin Steele has been holding Yasmin Smithson's head.
He's a first aid instructor, and that's what he's been trained to do.
It's in case she's hurt her spine.
Fortunately, we have a firefighter who's returning from duty
to home and he happened to come across to see.
He knows the procedures and protocols we follow
which has meant that the casualty's received the best care from the outset.
Paramedics Darren and Kate are also trained to treat every accident seriously,
but all the signs are this one's minor.
There's not any lower limb injuries.
Her legs are under the steering wheel.
-I don't think she's badly injured.
Doesn't look as though there's too serious injuries.
It's just the mechanisms.
Just trying to get her leg unstuck by the steering wheel.
Now Yasmin's neck is protected by a surgical collar,
firelighter Kelvin can at last relax.
He was driving home from a night shift when he came across the accident.
I'm a trained casualty care instructor so I thought,
"Well, I'll do my bit." So I stepped in,
and you can see the road conditions aren't fantastic.
This is what can happen as a result of it.
We don't have extra eyes so we can't see inside.
We need to make sure that her care's done.
It might look extreme, but we need to do that
so nothing will catch us out later.
Let us do it, Yasmin, I'm just going to get your trousers, sweetheart.
Paramedics Darren and Kate are beginning to be suspicious
about what first seemed to be a minor injury.
Yasmin's in a lot of discomfort.
Hang on, darling, we'll just try and move you a little bit.
Ready, steady, slide.
Ahh! Ahh, ahh, ahh.
If someone can pull her hips, I can free her leg.
All right, guys. Can you help count, sweetheart?
-Nice and easy.
Every paramedic's first rule is to treat for the worst
and hope for the best.
Yasmin's not going to be allowed to move her head until her neck
and spine have been X-rayed.
Does it feel like the pain goes into the back of your shoulder blade?
Into your back? Just all down your arm, is it?
Yasmin's flown to hospital where she'll be scanned and X-rayed.
It's here that doctors make a shocking discovery...
Yasmin's neck is so badly broken, one move could have killed her.
Today, three months after the shunt, she's come to the fire station
where Kelvin is based to see him rewarded for saving her life.
He's being given a commendation for putting into practice
a first aid lesson that saved the local midwife.
I realised that it was quite bad
and when I tried to get out and I couldn't move,
I propped myself up and then just waited. Kelvin eventually arrived.
I spoke to her and she told me that she was a midwife on her way
to a delivery, which didn't help matters, really.
Gave me a little bit of angst.
And I said, "You'll understand why I'm maintaining this position."
Which is where you put your hands on the neck so they don't move.
I was probably a complete pain to him,
telling him I was absolutely fine,
but he insisted on just doing everything the correct way.
Yasmin's still recovering from the effects of her injury,
but she's living proof that basic first aid skills
can and do save lives.
'The consultant said that it's the worst neck fracture he's ever seen.
'If I'd have moved'
and if Kelvin hadn't done everything that he did,
I could've been paralysed from the neck down or I might have even died.
Yeah, so it literally saved my life.
Most sudden illnesses are minor.
But sometimes, unremarkable symptoms are the sign
of a deadly medical condition.
Golf is a game that's supposed to keep its players fit.
A good walk, good company and a bit of gentle exercise.
That's what Berkley Harrison was counting on, anyway.
Now, he's lying on the seventh green at Horsforth Golf Club in Leeds feeling unwell.
Did you actually lose consciousness? You did.
Flying doctor Jez Pinnell thinks Berkley may have heart trouble.
-Is your tummy sore?
He was complaining about his kidneys at one stage, down the side.
Helimed 98 is only here
because its patient collapsed less than a mile from its base.
I thought he had backache, cos he's had a bit of trouble with his back.
And then I came to see if it were all right
and he just sort of keeled over.
You've had some backache recently, have you?
Berkley's symptoms sound innocuous enough -
mild backache, but Jez's medical instincts are good.
Just swing him round and point his feet into that big door.
Berkley's leaving the links behind for a flight to Leeds General Infirmary.
It's just a precaution, but one that is to save his life.
On arrival, doctors find Berkley is bleeding to death internally
from a massive aortic aneurysm -
a hole in the main artery leading to his heart.
Surgeons plug it just in time.
When you arrive you always tell people that there's about a 50/50
chance of surviving the surgery
and that's because at that stage
they've obviously got a low blood pressure
so they're at risk of having heart attacks and they've also lost
a huge amount of blood so they've lost all the normal clotting factors.
So even if you're successful in putting the device in,
they can... You're in a position where you can't stop the bleeding.
And a few days later, Berkley is sitting up in bed,
a man alive only because of his choice of golf course
and the instincts of a doctor.
I should have been dead. I think, from what I can gather...
From what I can gather, I would have been dead.
He was lucky in the fact that he had his rupture on a golf course
very close to Leeds Bradford Airport,
close to the ambulance, and he got into hospital
and to a centre which can provide emergency endovascular repair.
I'm only so grateful that I am, you know,
I am still able to talk to you here.
And the lads that flew the mission, thank them very much.
Few parts of the human body are more vulnerable in an accident
than the brain.
And even a relatively minor impact can have a devastating effect
on your life.
On the borders of Yorkshire and Lancashire,
a biker's come off on a bend.
Paramedic Paul Bradbury knows this kind of accident
can often be fatal.
Moorland roads are often narrow and lined by unyielding dry-stone walls.
We've been tasked to a detail, Horton in Craven,
it's on the outskirts of Skipton up in the Dales.
Got reports of an RTC involving a motorcycle and a car.
It could be anything from, you know, serious head injury,
spine injury and his chest, abdo injuries.
So, depending on what sort of injuries we've got,
then we'll ascertain which hospital he needs to go into.
Karl Bishop is 36.
He was out for a ride with a mate,
now, he's badly hurt. He wasn't wearing leathers
and his jeans have provided little protection to his leg.
It's badly damaged and so is his arm.
Howdie-doodie. How you going, you all right?
This is Karl, he's just come off that motorbike up there,
-as you can see.
Now, main injuries he's complaining - his wrist
but also pain in his groin as well.
-He won't let anybody touch that leg.
The good news is Karl is awake and answering questions,
even if he is in a lot of pain.
Karl, I'm just going to have a feel round this leg, mate, tell me if it hurts.
I know, I'm not going to squeeze it.
He's been in and out of consciousness.
-When we got here, he didn't know where he is.
-Have you got his helmet?
Damage to a biker's helmet can provide vital clues
to the force of the impact,
and whether he's likely to have a head injury.
Karl's isn't too badly damaged. It's good news.
Can we straighten your leg at all, Karl?
If I support it, Karl, I'll do it really slowly, tell me if it hurts.
HE CRIES OUT IN PAIN
The emergency services here are used to bikers being injured
but this doesn't appear to be the worst case they've dealt with.
Can you feel me touching you? Lovely, good lad.
Karl, I'm going to put a splint on this arm, mate, cos you've broken it.
Sorry, Karl, I know it's hurting you, mate.
It's time to get Karl to hospital,
but first he's got to be strapped to a rigid spinal stretcher.
It's a routine precaution.
Put the arms across here, just there, and just be careful around there cos obviously he's...
-All we're going to do is just roll him across.
And back and roll, ready, brace, roll.
Karl, keep sucking that.
As well as a badly damaged leg,
paramedic Paul fears Karl has fractured his pelvis.
That can lead to severe internal bleeding.
But this strap should prevent further damage.
Let's get this on. Go on, some more deep breaths.
Yeah, it's clicked in.
Paul's assessed Karl's injuries using the Glasgow Coma Scale.
The lower the number, the more serious the patient's condition.
15 is fully alert.
The gentleman's now got GCS between 14 and 15, he's quite vague.
Got a compound right wrist, could be a fractured femur,
could be a fractured pelvis. His obs are reasonable at the moment.
Just going into the air craft, we'll lift in about 10-15 minutes,
I just want to give everyone a heads up.
Karl, put that back in your mouth, mate. Suck on that.
That's it, long, deep breaths.
Karl will be in hospital in ten minutes.
His vital signs are good, even though his broken bones
will take months to heal.
Obviously his wrist is giving him quite a lot of stick at the moment,
so we'll keep topping him up on morphine and I think this craft
should get him there without too much trouble.
Obviously, the big injury he's got, is he's potentially got a pelvic injury and if he bleeds out
from his pelvis, he could lose blood volume quite quickly.
Doctors at Blackburn Royal are waiting to assess Karl,
and it's just as well.
His condition deteriorates
and he's quickly transferred to intensive care.
For three days, he's on life support.
It's two weeks before he's well enough to return to a normal ward.
Ten months later and he's come to see the Helimed team,
the paramedics he credits with saving his life.
-What did you do to the femur on that side?
-I didn't break it, I've snapped all the ligaments in my knee.
There's nothing holding my knee together.
But there's another reason Karl's come.
Having all but returned from the brink of death,
he has lost two weeks of his life.
He has no memory of the day leading up to the accident
or the smash itself.
Now he's about to find out what he's missed.
That hurts more than anything.
To actually see my bike sat there on the floor,
knowing how broken that was, and thinking how broken I still am.
You know, I will get better eventually
but this will affect me for the rest of my life.
Karl now faces further surgery,
including a transplant to replace the damaged ligaments
around his knee.
But he still has a long road to recovery ahead.
I'm just grateful to be here.
I mean, the amount of injuries I had, it's unusual.
And I did come close to leaving my family.
The people who came back from the dead, against the odds.
Now, let's return to the case of another patient whose injuries
are life threatening.
24 hours ago, Mike Pitham set off from this holiday cottage
with his wife Irene and dog Cassie
on a hike through the Yorkshire Dales.
There's a good girl.
But soon after they stopped to take souvenir snaps,
the walk ended with Irene seriously injured,
and her husband struggling to take in the reality of a rare,
but potentially lethal attack, by a herd of cows.
I think in some respects, I just kicked straight into automatic
preservation mode, more than anything.
My fear was they were going to trample on her, as well,
because she was now lying on the floor and couldn't get away.
And I was very calm right up until
I got back here and then it was a case of...
Well, I suppose, emotion.
The feeling I had was total panic that she'd actually died.
I thought that they'd killed her because she went up so high
and then hit the ground and then didn't move at all.
Come on, Cassie, come on.
Today, Mike's off to Harrogate Hospital to visit Irene
and find out the results of her medical tests.
He knows she's suffered a dislocated shoulder.
But it's feared she may also have a serious head injury.
-Hello, how are you?
-I'm all right. How's you? You all right?
-Yes, are you?
I want all the gory details. Cos I don't remember a thing.
I don't even remember the cows.
The good news is Irene has suffered little more than serious concussion.
She's been very lucky.
It was just such a blank, I just didn't know anything.
You know, I just woke up in hospital and that was it.
But we're walkers, so we are aware that, you know, this time of year,
with calves and things, you know, that it can be dangerous
but I think we were still on the Nidderdale Way, as far as I know.
So, it's quite a well-walked path.
Obviously one of these cows just got a little bit upset.
And Irene thinks, in some ways, she's the lucky one of the couple.
I think it will affect him more, because I have no recollection.
but I think... I don't think Mike will go into a field of cows in future.
I'll be a little bit more wary, especially if there's calves around.
I might not want to take the dog in the field.
And I'm pleased to say Irene's now well on the road to recovery
and planning another stay in the Dales.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]