Teenage boys were forced to use a tourniquet of tea towels to save their friend from losing pints of blood while they waited almost three quarters of an hour for an ambulance to arrive.
Ambulance chiefs have this week apologised for the delay in reaching 13-year-old Angelo Romeo, who fell off a wall and cut his knee to the bone.
They say a shortage of ambulances in Milton Keynes meant they had to travel up to 20 miles make the five-minute journey to the hospital.
The accident happened close to Angelo’s Fishermead home on Sunday afternoon. A nearby group of 16-year-old boys saw the huge wound and dialled 999 immediately.
“Blood was spurting everywhere – it was a really deep, bad wound. At one stage Angelo lost consciousness due to shock and blood loss,” said Angelo’s brother Paolo.
The concerned 999 operator stayed on the line and instructed the lads to make a tourniquet out of tea towels in a bid to stem the bleeding.
A South Central ambulance finally arrived 42 minutes later to take Angelo to hospital. As it approached A&E, the boys filmed four ambulances parked outside.
Angelo needed surgery to close the wound and was admitted until Tuesday evening. His family has praised hospital staff for the way they looked after him.
A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said the crew came from the Buckingham area after being diverted from another call.
She added: “This category of call would be deemed non-life threatening but requiring an emergency response on scene. The national target for this is 30 minutes.We would like to apologise to the patient, their family and those on scene for the delay in attending, the distress and concern which our delay caused.”