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News > News > This Giving Tuesday help support CRITICAL's mission to save lives

This Giving Tuesday help support CRITICAL's mission to save lives

Their team of dedicated volunteers work around the clock to respond to emergencies, starting treatment and providing crucial life saving help until the arrival of emergency services.
13 Nov 2023
Written by Aideen Stapleton
News
Dr Paul Campbell and Dr Daragh Mathews- photo by Patrick Browne
Dr Paul Campbell and Dr Daragh Mathews- photo by Patrick Browne

CRITICAL, the emergency medical response charity, is rapidly expanding its network of volunteer responders in towns, villages and cities across Ireland. The charity, which is entirely funded by donations from the public, has teams of doctors, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and community first responders who give up their time to attend serious and life threatening emergencies and illnesses in their local areas.

One of the doctors is GP Paul Campbell who is based in Waterford and joined the charity at the start of the summer. He volunteers to respond to multiple incidents each week including crashes, cardiac arrests, falls from a height, stroke and sepsis.

Dr Campbell describes a typical day to the Irish Examiner. He was at work in the GP practice when he received a call from the National Ambulance Service (NAS) to attend a serious road traffic collision in Waterford City.

“The man I’m trying to stabilise is a pedestrian. We suspect air is leaking from his lungs causing his lung to collapse and compress his heart and other internal organs. I insert a needle into his chest to let the air out and with the assistance of the NAS crew, we put him in a collar, onto a vacuum mattress and into the ambulance, while giving him IV meds to relieve pain and prevent further bleeding.”

Dr Campbell travels to the hospital with the patient, returns to the scene to pick up his Rapid Response Vehicle before returning to his practice where he resumes seeing patients. Later that day, he receives a call to assist a patient who collapsed walking home from town. His injuries are minor however Dr Campbell provides assistance until the paramedics arrive.

Dr Campbell is one of 10 doctors across the country who volunteer with CRITICAL. They are consultants, specialists in emergency medicine, and GPs who are based in Mayo, Donegal, Dublin, Wicklow and Waterford. CRITICAL has provided these doctors with an emergency vehicle and the equipment necessary to care for the sickest and most seriously injured patients. They work closely with the National Ambulance Service and are tasked to road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, farming accidents and other major trauma within 30km of where they live.

In recent months the charity has been boosted by Off-Duty Responders from the National Ambulance Service. The paramedics and EMTS attend 999 calls in their local area when they are off-duty. CRITICAL has provided each responder with an Emergency Backpack containing a defibrillator, a resuscitation kit and a medical diagnostic kit at a cost of €1,500. These responders are based in numerous locations including Cavan, Sligo, Donegal, Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

CRITICAL has also launched its first Community First Responders (CFR) group. The CRITICAL West Limerick CFR group is made up of seven volunteers who are local to Newcastle West and surrounding areas. They are available to respond to life-threatening emergencies including cardiac arrest, chest pain, stroke and choking incidents, providing essential first-aid until the emergency services arrive at the scene.

As Giving Tuesday approaches, CRITICAL is calling upon your generosity to support the charity's mission to save lives. Its team of dedicated volunteers work around the clock to respond to emergencies such as cardiac arrest, chest pain, stroke, and choking incidents, starting treatment and providing crucial life saving help until the arrival of emergency services. However, it can only do this with your help.

It costs €1,500 to provide the equipment for each off-duty paramedic, approximately €5,000 to set up a Community First Responders Group, €25,000 to establish an Advanced Level Doctor and €120,000 to put a new Critical Care response vehicle on the road.

CRITICAL is funded by public donations, and your contributions are crucial to helping it continue providing our life-saving services. Please join CRITICAL in its fight to save lives by donating today.

For more information about CRITICAL or to make a donation visit https://criticalcharity.ie/ or https://criticalcharity.ie/donate/

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