Leading the way in trauma care

17.08.15   Categories: Staff stories, 24 Hours in A&E

You’ll probably know from watching 24 Hours in A&E that King’s is a Major Trauma Centre. But did you know that it’s part of a network (covering south east London, Kent and Medway) that has the best results of any trauma network in the UK?

Of the 3,800 trauma patients who were treated across the region between April 2013 and December 2014, 3,659 survived – that’s 85 more than expected. And almost 1,500 of those patients were treated at King’s College Hospital.

Family emergency

King’s treats the most seriously injured patients, and one of those patients was 54-year-old Sarah Woodburn, who was involved in a minibus accident in February 2015.  Sitting in the front passenger seat of the bus, Sarah took the brunt of the collision as the dashboard folded over her leg.

She was airlifted to King’s where she had seven hours of surgery to stop internal bleeding and to rebuild her leg. She then spent two weeks in King’s intensive care unit. She later went on to develop a serious blood infection as a result of the injury and underwent another operation to help repair the leg once more. She now is continuing her care at King’s as she learns to walk again with the help of a stick.

Rallying round

Sarah’s daughters Claudine and April rushed to be by her side, as did her brother Simon.

Claudine said: ‘I had just arrived home from a work trip to New York when I got a call saying Mum had been in an accident. I knew it must be really bad as the police offered to pick me up from the airport. I was told she might not wake up again, and if she did she might lose her leg.

‘After so much surgery, to see her walking is just amazing. At her latest appointment, we could actually see the calcium growing, fixing her injury, on her X-rays.

‘All the staff in the trauma unit and across the hospital were fantastic. We spent so much time at King’s, and met so many staff. What struck me was there was a real sense of pride from everyone in providing Mum with the best care they could. Not just the surgery but simple things like making sure she had enough water, because she couldn’t get up to get it herself, were done with such enthusiasm and care.’

Saying thank you

Claudine ran the London Marathon and took on an Ironman challenge this year to fundraise for King’s as a thank you to the teams who saved her mum’s leg – twice.

‘I wanted to say thank you to everyone for the care Mum received so that’s why I decided to fundraise for King’s.’

There are plenty of ways you can fundraise to say thank you, as Claudine did, for a family member’s treatment. Find out how you can help.


King’s College Hospital Charity. Registered Charity No. 1165593. Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 09987908. Registered address: King’s College Hospital, London SE5 9RS