SCOTLAND'S only air ambulance charity has faced its busiest year ever. 

Records showed a 19% increase in call outs in 2022, with the charity responding to 987 calls from its Aberdeen and Perth bases.

These bases supply helicopters, air ambulances and rapid response vehicles in emergency situations. 

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) plays a vital role in getting paramedics and specialist teams to the scenes of serious injuries or illnesses.

Lifesaving care is provided in the air before the patient is transported to the appropriate hospital.

Last year, the charity saw an 8% increase in the number of patients being transported in critical care.

Traumatic injuries made up 38% of cases, in which two thirds of all patients are flown to one of four major trauma centres across the country: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth.

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Half of the SCAA trauma cases were road collisions, standing at a staggering 187 emergency call outs, displaying a 39% increase from the previous year.

Other trauma figures included: 94 falls, 26 industrial accidents and 21 equestrian related injuries.

SCAA chief executive David Craig said: "Our record deployment to high-acuity trauma and time-critical illness shows the demanding role our teams fulfil - day in and day out. Their speed and level of care have proven to be lifesaving for so many." 

The SCAA spent a whopping 700 hours in the air covering over 92,000 miles, reaching 130 vulnerable patients from the most remote areas of Scotland and saving them lengthy road and ferry journeys.

Craig added: "Thousands of patients across the whole of Scotland and its many islands owe their life to the fast intervention of SCAA.

"The demand on our service has never been greater and our crews continue to respond impressively to deliver more emergency care year on year."

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the SCAA, with Craig adding that it was the genorosity of donors that allowed them to keep up their lifesaving work. 

"Throughout those 10 years, our supporters have kept SCAA in their hearts and contributed magnificently to ensure we were there for those most in need," he said.

"With their ongoing generosity, SCAA will continue to respond to an ever-increasing workload throughout 2023 and beyond."