Take a deep breath and get ready to step into Trauma Room One, an operating theatre like no other, where death is just one millimeter away.

This series takes us deep inside the gripping, high-stakes world of brain and spinal surgery, where some of the world’s best doctors fight to bring patients on the edge back to life.

From major trauma emergencies to transformative operations, Trauma Room One puts us on the frontline of life-saving surgeries, but beware… it’s not for the faint-hearted.


We’re in the operating theatres of the UK’s busiest neurology and neurosurgery hospital, with some of the world’s best surgeons as they fight to bring those on the edge, back to life.

On tonight’s programme a patient in a critical condition is rushed into theatre from North Wales. He’s had a stroke and the on-call trauma team have no time to lose. The stroke has caused his brain to swell, and they need to remove part of his skull to save his life.

48-year-old Christine has fallen downstairs and broken her neck, it’s a severe and life-threatening injury. Can the Consultant Neurosurgeon act in time to remove the shattered disc and save her from paralysis?

Anthony is living with a ticking timebomb in his brain. It’s called an AVM, a tangle of abnormal blood vessels that threatens his life every day. He’s at the centre to have it removed but it’s 6cm deep inside his brain and it’s going to be a complex surgery to disconnect it.


We go through the doors of Britain’s most advanced neurosurgery hospital to follow the work of the world’s leading brain and spinal surgeons as they battle to save those on the edge from life changing conditions.  

In this episode, a man arrives in theatre with agonising back pain. Doctors suspect a cancerous tumour is compressing his spinal cord. He needs an urgent operation using a hi-tech robot to remove it.

26-year-old-James had half of his skull removed to save his brain from life-threatening trauma. Now he’s back in theatre where surgeons are fitting a state-of-the-art ceramic plate to replace the bone he’d lost. Can they secure it place without putting him any more danger?

The team also operate to help a man walk without pain for the first time in months and need to react fast as a stroke victim is flown in from the Isle of Man. Time is brain.  


Treating more than 18,000 patients a year, the Walton Centre in Liverpool is Britain’s most technologically advanced major trauma hospital.

50 year old Shaun is suffering from a rare condition called acromegaly caused by a tumour on his pituitary gland. It’s caused his hands and feet to keep growing. A team of experts operate to remove the tumour and stop this abnormal growth spurt.

Every time 27-year-old Sofia coughs or sneezes it feels like her head is going to explode. She has a Chiari malformation, which means her brain is pushing down into the spinal canal. The operation to alleviate this should create space at the bottom of her skull but it’s near major blood vessels that could cause a stroke at any time.

Catherine has had a stroke, but scans show there’s a good chance of reversible action. She’s having a thrombectomy, a procedure where the blood clot is removed through a catheter. But the surgeons have to act fast, every minute a stroke goes untreated, 12 million brain cells die.


Behind the doors of the UK’s busiest neurology and neurosurgery hospital. We’re in theatre as the world’s best surgeons battle to help people facing life-changing conditions.  

In this episode, 53-year-old Deborah has five tumours buried in her brain. The surgeon’s mission is to take a biopsy to find out whether the tumours are cancerous but they also attempt to remove one completely.

James, 63, is losing feeling and function in his hands and fingers. Without surgery he could face paralysis. Surgeons must act fast to remove disc and bone from his neck. Once removed, they plan to replace the bone with a metal cage. Will they save James from an uncertain future?

In another theatre, surgeons help a woman who is suffering from a rare brain condition called Chiari One, which is causing extreme headaches. The team needs to replace a shunt that should be draining fluid from her brain but its stopped working.

There’s also ground-breaking brain surgery when a young woman arrives with an AVM – a tangling of blood vessels that doctors call a ‘short circuit’. It’s a rare condition that’s already caused a double brain haemorrhage and affected her eye-sight. Without an operation her life is at risk.


"A fascinating documentary series." THE GUIDE LIVERPOOL
"The series takes us deep inside the gripping, high-stakes world of brain and spinal surgery." MEMORABLE TV
***[Three stars] "Eye-opening." DAILY MAIL


8 x one hour


Channel 5




Renegade Stories



Series Producer

Andrew Nicholson

Producer directors

Zara Hobson, Johnny Perks, Dan Gooding, Iain Robson

Executive Producers

Livia Simoka, Alan Hayling

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