AIRBORNE paramedics have been given the green light to use a more powerful analgesic when treating trauma patients who are in severe pain.

The helicopter medics of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance can now use the very strong painkiller ketamine at the scene of accidents and emergencies.

Until recently, only doctors were able to administer the drug on scene at an incident.

However paramedics can now give ketamine to patients in severe pain where approval from an on-call doctor is obtained.

YAA’s medical adviser and consultant anaesthetist Dr Jez Pinnell said: “At the moment paramedics can give people morphine and entonox and splint fractures.

“But, if a patient has multiple fractures and is in severe pain, those drugs and interventions are just not strong enough to provide effective relief.

“Now, strict protocols have been put in place to enable the air ambulance paramedics to administer low doses of ketamine which is really good news for the patient and for the paramedic.

“There is nothing worse than having a patient in a lot of pain who you can’t help.”

The YAA works in partnership with Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust which provides all of the helicopter paramedics.