The Magpas air ambulance was called out an average of four times each day during 2018 to deal with life-threatening incidents, new figures reveal.

Magpas responds to medical emergencies across the East Anglian region, with the majority of calls coming from Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Norfolk.

The number of people treated in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk increased by two per cent on the previous year.

Cardiac arrests were the most frequent reason for call-outs, followed by road traffic collisions and falls, and throughout the year, medics placed someone into a medically induced coma at the scene two to three times each week.

The demand for the lifesaving charity continued to be high throughout the Christmas period, with Magpas being the only service of its kind across the East of England to be available 24/7.

Between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, the charity's doctor and paramedic team were activated 33 times, and used their expert knowledge and skills to treat patients suffering a wide range of medical emergencies, including cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions, falls, burns, severe sports injuries and more.

The busiest day during the festive period was New Year's Day and during the 12 hour night shift on New Year's Eve, medics travelled more than 400 miles in the Magpas rapid response vehicle.

Natalie Church, director of operations at Magpas, said: "Looking back at what we have achieved and the care we have provided throughout 2018, the need for our service is very clear. Throughout the year the Magpas medical team responded to 1,512 emergency calls and travelled more than 83,000 miles in the air ambulance and rapid response vehicles."

Daryl Brown, Magpas chief executive, added: "All our dedicated medics and staff work tirelessly to bring hospital-level care by land and by air to seriously ill and injured patients across the East of England. We expect to be just as busy in 2019, but with consistent demands on our service and a new, next generation helicopter coming into operation this April, we really need your support. We can only operate thanks to donations from the communities within which we work and it is thanks to this crucial support that we are able to provide patients with the very best chances of survival and recovery."

Cambridgeshire based Magpas Air Ambulance has attended more than 60,000 patients since it was founded in 1971.

Magpas Air Ambulance is not a state-funded service and relies on public donations.

The public can support the charity by joining the Magpas Lottery or visiting: www.magpas.org.uk.