Helicopter ER 2023: Yorkshire man saved from horrific electric shock by Yorkshire Air Ambulance crew who had to restart his heart after it had stopped beating featured in new episode
Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) rushed to the aid of Fraser Bennett, a then 22-year-old machine worker from Bridlington, following a devastating workplace accident. Mr Bennett’s harrowing ordeal and remarkable recovery will be shown on Thursday, October 27 at 9pm in the next episode of the TV series Helicopter ER.
While conducting routine maintenance checks on a tall piece of machinery at his workplace in Sherburn, Mr Bennett was suddenly struck by a powerful electric current to the machine and the shockwave sent him into immediate cardiac arrest. His colleague, realising the seriousness of the situation, promptly aided in freeing him from the machine, resulting in a 60-foot fall from the ladder on which he stood, before initiating life-saving CPR and called 999 for help.
The critical care crew at YAA were alerted to the incident following a call from a local paramedic at the scene, who required urgent on scene support. Responding from their Nostell Air Base in Wakefield, which was 50 miles away and a 20-minute flight, the YAA crew, including paramedics Pete and Andy, along with Dr Neil Sambridge, raced against time to reach the rural industrial unit in North Yorkshire.
Upon arrival, the land ambulance crews had already restarted Mr Bennett’s heart, which had stopped beating, using a defibrillator, achieving what is medically known as a ‘Return of Spontaneous Circulation’ (ROSC).
While the primary focus of the medical team was his cardiac condition, they also assessed the significant electrical burns on Mr Bennett’s arm caused by the shock, as well as a bloody nose, which were additional points of concern. Excessive levels of carbon dioxide in his blood were also a concerning sign, as it indicated the potential for brain damage due to the time he spent in cardiac arrest.
Dr Neil made a critical decision at the scene to induce a controlled medical coma through a rapid sequence induction (RSI) procedure, essential to Mr Bennett’s survival. At the time, his risk of death was exceptionally high, and the precision of the procedure was paramount.
The episode will also show a behind-the-scenes look at the intricate RSI procedure, which involved administering a sequence of drugs to ensure Mr Bennett’s airways remained open, his brain was protected, and he was kept in a stable, controlled medical coma.
He was quickly transported by air to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, a major trauma centre, for further treatment. Before leaving the scene, Dr Neill commented the other emergency services crews for their swift actions in restarting his heart, stating that the initial defibrillation shock likely saved his life.
Shockingly, Mr Bennett awoke from his medically induced coma just three days later and 18 months later, he continued on his journey of recovery, learning to walk again and regain his mobility, speech and confidence.
“It was just a routine maintenance job, a general check of the machine. I was up a ladder, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in a state of confusion, still in shock when I learned what had happened to me,” Mr Bennett said.
“It was an incredibly worrying time for my family; they were prepared for me to wake up with brain damage. However, to my relief, I woke up, and I was quite functional, I'd say. During my recovery, I found myself in a dark place initially; I didn't want to leave the house, and I avoided socialising. But I am slowly getting back to my usual self.
“I owe my deepest thanks to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance's critical care team for saving my life. I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to the emergency services who were the first on the scene and quickly defibrillated me when my heart stopped. Together they have granted me a second chance at life.”
Since the life-threatening accident, he has made a remarkable recovery; he has successfully returned to work through a phased approach and embarked on a new project, restoring a car. This has given him a newfound confidence and a profound sense of purpose.
With the project car now restored to its former glory and having successfully passed its MOT, Mr Bennett is not just looking forward to new adventures but is embracing life with renewed enthusiasm and excitement.