Wales Air Ambulance's 18,000th rescue

image captionWales Air Ambulance has services based in Swansea, Welshpool and Caernafon

Wales Air Ambulance has carried out its 18,000th emergency rescue 12 years after the service was launched.

A man with a suspected bleed on the brain was treated by a crew from Welshpool, Powys and taken to hospital for help.

Wales has three helicopters based in Swansea in the south, Welshpool and Caernarfon in the north.

The service, funded by public donations, was launched on 1 March 2001 and answers 2,000 calls a year.

It costs £6m to run - all raised from charitable donations from the public.

The 18,000th mission saw paramedics treat the man before airlifting him 30 miles (48 km) away to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital - which took just seven minutes.

Jason Williams, clinical and operations manager, said: "Just five minutes after receiving the emergency call our team were on the scene and it took just 49 minutes for the gentleman to reach hospital.

"A patient's chances of survival and early recovery are greatly increased if they receive the right care within the golden hour - the first 60 minutes after an incident."

Brain haemorrhages make up around 6% of all Wales Air Ambulance call-outs.

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