Pensioner, 87, declines pain relief despite severing an artery in Cornwall Air 999

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A pensioner declines pain relief despite severing an artery after cutting her arm on her glass on Cornwall Air 999.

In tonight’s episode of the Really show, it’s all hands on deck when critical care paramedics Steve and Jeremy are called to attend to Annette, 87, from the quaint village of St Keverne on the remote Lizard Peninsula, who has a reported arterial injury.  

Annette, with her arm elevated and bleeding heavily, calmly describes how she injured herself while attending a family gathering. 

‘I’m so mad with myself. I had a glass and I was looking at the view. I turned around, hit my foot, and bang!’ she says, explaining how she cut herself on her glass as she fell. 

Annette (pictured), 87, from the quaint village of St Keverne, declines pain relief despite severing an artery after cutting her arm on her glass in tonight's episode of Cornwall Air 999

Annette (pictured), 87, from the quaint village of St Keverne, declines pain relief despite severing an artery after cutting her arm on her glass in tonight’s episode of Cornwall Air 999

When the paramedics arrived on the scene, Annette has her arm, which is bleeding heavily, elevated in the air. Pictured, paramedics take patient Annette to the air ambulance

When the paramedics arrived on the scene, Annette has her arm, which is bleeding heavily, elevated in the air. Pictured, paramedics take patient Annette to the air ambulance

Annette (pictured, being treated) calmly describes how she injured herself while attending a family gathering

Annette (pictured, being treated) calmly describes how she injured herself while attending a family gathering

Luckily for Annette, Caroline, an off-duty surgeon, happened to be nearby and quickly rushed to her aid. 

‘She’s got a large laceration with her radial artery,’ she relays to Steve and Jeremy. 

The radial artery is one of two major arteries in the forearm. As Steve explains, it’s a serious injury that could prove fatal if left untreated. 

‘For someone Annette’s age they’ll cope with blood loss to a point and then they’ll deteriorate very rapidly,’ he says. ‘So time is of the essence in getting Annette to hospital.’

Taking a closer look and assessing the situation, Steve and Jeremy notice just how much blood Annette has lost. 

‘There was obviously a lot of blood loss on the floor and a significant amount in the padding, which all meant Annette was potentially very poorly,’ Jeremy recalls. 

Taking a closer look and assessing the situation, Steve and Jeremy notice just how much blood Annette has lost. Pictured, treating Annette

Taking a closer look and assessing the situation, Steve and Jeremy notice just how much blood Annette has lost. Pictured, treating Annette

Paramedics Jeremy and Steve (pictured) draw on all of their experience to treat Annette quickly and effectively

Paramedics Jeremy and Steve (pictured) draw on all of their experience to treat Annette quickly and effectively

After holding Annette’s arm for over 30 minutes to try to stop the bleeding, Caroline shares her own expert medical opinion, and it’s troubling news for the paramedics. 

‘It’s very high volume spurting. Arterial, definitely,’ she says, concerned. ‘I think it’s severed.’ 

Thankfully, Jeremy and Steve draw on all of their experience to treat Annette quickly and effectively. 

‘We had to work very quickly to stem the blood flow,’ Steve explains. ‘Left untreated, this would potentially render Annette unconscious within a minute and potentially deceased within two to three minutes.’ 

As Annette’s worried family look on, the professionals work diligently to apply a tourniquet to the pensioner’s arm. As they quickly race to apply a fresh bandage, Annette cries in pain. 

As Annette's worried family look on, Steve and Jeremy work diligently to apply a tourniquet to Annette's arm (pictured)

As Annette’s worried family look on, Steve and Jeremy work diligently to apply a tourniquet to Annette’s arm (pictured)

Due to the severity of Annette's wounds, paramedics note she needs to get to hospital quickly.  Pictured, paramedics take patient Annette to the air ambulance

Due to the severity of Annette’s wounds, paramedics note she needs to get to hospital quickly.  Pictured, paramedics take patient Annette to the air ambulance

Drawing on his experience, Steve keeps Annette talking, allowing Jeremy to continue treating her. 

‘Good at making pasties?’ he asks, to which Annette grins: ‘Not bad.’  

Assessing Annette’s injuries further, Steve reveals the staggering amount of blood that she lost. 

‘We estimated Annette’s blood loss to be approximately 500mls of blood. This would put Annette into stage one of hypovolaemic shock,’ Steve says. ‘Hypovolaemic shock is when you’re losing blood rapidly and your heart is eventually going to stop beating because it has no fluid to pump around, effectively.’

With the bleed finally under control, Jeremy spots another worrying injury when he opens Annette’s fingers and presses down on them individually, 

Jeremy realises that Annette may have severed her medial tendon as well, when she fails to register any feeling in her two middle fingers. 

Moving quickly to get Annette to hospital, Jeremy and Steve move her into the air ambulance. 

‘Due to the severity of Annette’s wounds, I know she needs to get to hospital quickly,’ Steve says. 

Steve cannot help but praise the calmness and bravery that Annette has shown during the course of the afternoon. Pictured, paramedic on scene

Steve cannot help but praise the calmness and bravery that Annette has shown during the course of the afternoon. Pictured, paramedic on scene

Despite the significance of her injuries, Steve cannot help but praise the calmness and bravery that Annette has shown during the course of the afternoon. ‘

Annette was one of the strongest ladies I’ve ever come across,’ he says. ‘She declined any sort of pain relief whatsoever. She’s a very tough Cornish lady!’ 

Arriving at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, after a 25-minute flight, Annette will now be able to receive the specialist care that she needs. 

Thankfully, Annette survived her injuries and received emergency surgery after two nights in hospital. 

Speaking in the documentary, Annette is full of praise for the Cornwall Air Ambulance service and for their swift actions. 

‘It’s very comforting to know that the air ambulance could be here and get you to where you’ve got to go in a very short time,’ she says.

Cornwall Air 999 premieres at 9pm tonight exclusively on Really, or stream on dplay 

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