Yorkshire Air Ambulance pilot Andrew Lister, left, and Dr Stuart Reid at the existing helipad site

Yorkshire Air Ambulance pilot Andrew Lister, left, and Dr Stuart Reid at the existing helipad site

Visitors to a film festival will be urged to help an appeal for a helicopter landing pad at a hospital that treats many injured climbers and walkers.

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival has added its support to the campaign for the helipad at the Northern General Hospital.

Cash from festival-goers’ suggested £1 donation per ticket will go to the £425,000 appeal.

Edale Mountain Rescue Team recently gave cash from its Sheffield city centre collection to the helipad appeal. Many of the team’s callouts are to fallen climbers on the Peak District edges who end up being airlifted to the hospital.

The new helipad will mean that patients requiring life-saving treatment can be transferred to the major trauma centre within seconds of landing, saving valuable time, as every second can be crucial when dealing with major trauma injuries.

The current helipad was built more than 20 years ago. It is located in a dip close to trees, is not lit and no longer conforms to safety guidelines although can be used for emergencies.

Most importantly, its distance from the trauma centre means patients must be transferred into a land ambulance for the journey from the helipad to the emergency room. This not only takes extra time but also adds complexity and risks additional discomfort for patients.

Aircrew sometimes choose to take patients to other MTCs further away, meaning a longer journey for those desperate to be at the bedside of their loved one who may be critically injured.

Dr Stuart Reid, consultant in emergency medicine and clinical lead for major trauma at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said: “As one of 26 Major Trauma Centres in the country, we receive patients from a large geographical area including South Yorkshire and the Peak District in North Derbyshire.

“Having the new helipad seconds from our door means we can start working on the patients sooner, which could make all the difference as every second really can count.

“When someone suffers major trauma which involves multiple or serious injury, the speed with which they can get specialist medical help can be the difference between life and death, and that’s why this appeal is so important.”

David Reynolds, director of Sheffield Hospitals Charity said: “ShAFF is a very successful event so I’m delighted that the festival is continuing to support Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

“Our Saving Time, Saving Lives appeal for a new helipad is about ensuring that those in the greatest need get the best treatment they can as soon as is physically possible. This gives them the highest chance of survival and the best possible recovery.”

Climber John Jones was airlifted after a fall on Stanage Edge

Climber John Jones was airlifted after a fall on Stanage Edge

John Jones, 70, a retired university lecturer, from Dore, near Sheffield, fell on a climb in the Peak District this summer. He was rescued by Edale Mountain Rescue Team before being flown by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to the Northern General Hospital.

He said: “I needed an airlift to the hospital because I was climbing on Stanage Edge and I fell off a route, right from the top of the crag about 5m on to a big block.

“I’ve been climbing for 54 years, so I’ve done thousands and thousands of routes all over the world. This was really an easy one. I stepped up the last step on the route and it was an easy move but I had no handholds and I think my foot slipped and that meant I fell backwards and had nothing to hold on to; it just happened like that.

“It was about 20 to 25 minutes to get me from hitting the ground to arriving at the hospital.

Mr Jones’s wife Elaine said: “The helipad appeal in Sheffield is really important because if the existing facilities are kept as they are then it may be that when people have serious accidents and need to be treated in a major trauma that they wouldn’t necessarily have access to the Northern General so it would mean that local people might have to be transported to other hospitals further away, away from their families.”

Her husband added, “You never think it’s going to happen to you. Without them all I wouldn’t be here today. If I hadn’t been airlifted that would have put things in a very difficult situation because you can bleed to death and it depends on how long you’re in that position.

“I was lucky, everything came together and I got to hospital on time. Thank you for your help.”

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival takes place next March. In April this year, the festival audience raised more than £2,400 through donations and a film and talk by mountaineer and quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew. That raised almost half the money needed for a new blood fridge which is now on its way to the emergency department at the Northern General.

Festival director Matt Heason said: “We’re delighted to continue our support for Sheffield Hospitals Charity. Sheffield is the outdoors capital city of the UK, and a hot bed for adventure sports like climbing, biking, caving and hang-gliding.

“I would urge festival-goers to give generously, as one day you might be the one needing urgent treatment.”

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