THURSDAY 10 MAY 2018
A Dragonfly Film and Television production for The BBC
Kirsty Cunningham / Simon Ford
A West Midlands Ambulance Service specialist trauma team are called to a brutal stabbing.
In an average week, crews across the West Midlands respond to 30 stabbings. Pete and Matt, a specialist trauma team, are called to treat the victim of a brutal knife attack. They carry out urgent medical intervention at the scene in a bid to save the man's life.
Paramedics Christine and Chris start their day shift with a man who has collapsed in Worcester town centre after a suspected drug overdose. They give him an opiate antidote to stop him slipping into a coma, but the effect is only temporary. Unfortunately when the patient comes round he is angry that Christine has cut open his tee shirt in order to treat him.
With A&E departments across the region busy, ambulance crews face waiting times of up to two hours before they can hand over their patients. When Jo and Tracey are called to 90-year-old Dennis, who's been vomiting, they want to save him from the inevitable delay at hospital. But GP surgeries are under pressure too and they can't get through to his doctor. They have no option but to take Dennis to hospital, join the queue and delay the time before they're available to take the next case.
Christine is well aware of the waiting times at hospitals when she and Chris are dispatched to Theresa, a terminally ill patient with suspected neutropenic sepsis caused by her cancer treatment. Christine promises Theresa and her husband Michael that she won't allow Theresa to queue in a corridor and face the risk of infection, which she is particularly susceptible to during chemotherapy. Christine cares for Theresa in the ambulance while parked outside A&E for an hour and a half, until finally she is found a room where her she can safely wait alone.
Crewmates Mark and Nieaal drive 20 minutes on blue lights to Ledbury in the dead of night to treat 96-year-old Jim. He fell off his mobility scooter earlier in the week, and his wound to the elbow won't stop bleeding.