CEGA Supports NHS Elite Medics In BBC Documentary

Friday, 07 February, 2014

A BBC documentary is to show CEGA Air Ambulance joining forces with the elite flying medics of Embrace (part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust)to repatriate a family with their critically ill baby.

The third episode of Children's Emergency Rescue, on BBC Two (Tuesday Feb 11th, at 8pm) will demonstrate the value of collaborative care in the air as CEGA and Embrace transfer baby Ellizeah from Alicante to Leeds.

Ellizeah, born thirteen weeks early, during her parents’ holiday in Spain, has a perforated bowel, a heart defect and bleeding on the brain. She has spent three months in a Spanish hospital, 1,000 miles from home, and her family desperately wants to come back to the UK for her continuing care.

“The episode reveals the clinical expertise and sensitivity of the Embrace team as they care for Ellizeah during the transfer in CEGA’s intensive care air ambulance,” says Dr Tim Hammond, Chief Medical Officer for CEGA, which enjoys a long-standing relationship with Embrace.  “Both parents are by Ellizeah’s side throughout and everything is done to make her comfortable - with continuous supervision and protective care in our specialist incubator.” 

Embrace lead Dr Steve Hancock, a critical care consultant, said: “It’s great to work with such a dedicated team who care for children and families when they really need it.“

A production team from BBC Yorkshire's network programmes team spent six months following Embrace medics to capture the reality of emergency medicine on the road and in the air.

Embrace, part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, is a paediatric and neonatal transport organisation, based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. A team of doctors and nurses transfer sick babies and children to specialist units using mobile intensive care ambulances, planes or helicopters. Embrace, which is funded by the Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, handles 3,500 cases a year and is a unique service in the NHS.

The support of The Children’s Hospital Charity was a key factor in the development of the Embrace service, first launched in 2010. The charity had already funded two specialist ambulances, called Bear 1 and Bear 2, which were fully equipped to transfer critically ill children anywhere in the country.

Ian Cundall, Executive Producer of Children’s Emergency Rescue, adds: "We hope this series will give viewers an insight into the life or death dilemmas faced by a remarkable team of medics."  In making the series, his team spent six months following Embrace crews, to capture the reality of emergency medicine on the road and in the air.

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