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First aid protocols?


Guest pelmetman

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Guest pelmetman

Unfortunately I was involved in a fatal RTA today on the A16, an elderly gent had a seizure at the wheel and careered across the road narrowly missing a car transporter in front of me.

 

Four of us stopped, his car had come to a stop against the fence and as the first on scene I tried to find a pulse and cleared his airway although he wasn't breathing........one of the other drivers who stopped was a first aider as he had the "T" shirt on for a local large employer, I suggested we get him out and try CPR, but his reply was that the protocol now days is to leave him in situ........as he had the "T" shirt and had recently done a first aid course, I bowed to his up to date training and waited for the ambulance.............that was a very long 15 minutes 8-)......

 

When the first ambulance crew arrived they dragged him out of the car and started trying to resuscitate him, another crew arrived who took over, they continued for 20 mins, by which time another ambulance had arrived, 3 police cars and the air ambulance 2 fire brigade vehicles, it was soon obvious that their efforts were in vain.

 

Further police cars arrived and I guess there were 30 members of the emergency service at the scene.

 

After giving separate statements and having our vehicles checked over, photographed, and positions marked by GPS, 3 hours later we were allowed to go.

 

I now find myself wondering whether I should of tried CPR anyway, regardless of protocols............. although I guess he was well into his late eighties, and I doubt we'd of made any difference, but now we'll never know.............and on reflection if it was me at that age would I want to be? as it was a very quick way to go :-S

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Wow - that's a difficult one Dave!

 

I have to say I think the protocols are probably correct - as I understand it much damage can be done without the right equipment in getting someone out.

 

As I understand it the idea is to do exactly as you did - clear his airway and if possible apply CPR in situ.

 

I do not think you could have done anymore.

 

The poor chap had had a seizure and could well have had that at home on his settee.

 

But fate dictated he had it in his car in front of you.

 

And you did what you could - so well done.

 

 

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Must have been an unsettling experience Dave.

I regret to say that I have no first aid experience but I was told very many years ago by a traffic cop never to move anyone unconscious who had potentially been injured in an RTC unless their life was in immediate danger as the risk of doing more harm outweighed the chances of going anything good?

Current thinking might be different - did the paramedics say anything to give you a clue?

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Guest pelmetman

I've had better days :-|.............

 

The ambulance guy's said it was current protocol (there's that word again *-)) to administer CPR for 20 mins if they arrive within 15 minutes :-S

 

 

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I have given CPR to a heart attack victim, who happened to be my mother-in-law. This was nearly 36 years ago and she had had the attack in bed, so was lying on her back and otherwise uninjured. It did no good at all. At that time CPR was quoted as being a good thing to do for all heart attacks.

 

I have just read the memoires of a London Ambulance Driver and in his considerable experience CPR almost always does no good at all, but seems to be expected by members of the public, so they always do it straight away on arrival.

 

A tough day for you, so my sympathies for what they are worth and yes, I do think that you did the right thing.

 

Michael

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Got to agree with the other poster's about the first aid. There are other things to consider though, was there a danger of fire (petrol leak etc)

 

I was in a similar situation a few years ago when a car driver was trapped with his legs so could not get him out of the car and with a very bad leak. We carried powder and foam extinguishers so had them ready. I switched his ignition off then got the car bonnet open, I then got a rag and covered the battery terminals and disconnect the leads whilst one of the people that had stopped was just about to give the chap a fag!!!!.........I went ballistic.

 

We were taught to, firstly not to put ourselves in danger, but you can't stand by can you?

 

The guy recovered ok with just a broken ankle and fractured leg.

 

Isn't 15 minutes a long while? It seemed an eternity.

 

Bad day for you and the others Dave, but a worse one for his family.

 

Dave

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How sad and emotionally draining for you. It's awful to feel so helpless.

 

Search the internet and you will find you and the first aider did the right thing. In a road accident [i'm assuming some impact was involved], the internal organs are displaced and moving someone can create even more internal damage. How would you feel if you moved him and that movement killed him?

 

It will take time for you to reconcile your actions with what happened. But you will. You'll never forget the incident but you can use the experience of how you felt to help you deal with life's other ups and downs. Perhaps one action you could take is to take a first aid course in his memory. You might also want to have a look at your lifestyle to see if you can reduce the risk of you having a seizure at the wheel and placing others in the same situation you were in.

 

I feel for you.

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Guest pelmetman
Brock - 2013-09-03 10:28 AM

 

How sad and emotionally draining for you. It's awful to feel so helpless.

 

Search the internet and you will find you and the first aider did the right thing. In a road accident [i'm assuming some impact was involved], the internal organs are displaced and moving someone can create even more internal damage. How would you feel if you moved him and that movement killed him?

 

It will take time for you to reconcile your actions with what happened. But you will. You'll never forget the incident but you can use the experience of how you felt to help you deal with life's other ups and downs. Perhaps one action you could take is to take a first aid course in his memory. You might also want to have a look at your lifestyle to see if you can reduce the risk of you having a seizure at the wheel and placing others in the same situation you were in.

 

I feel for you.

 

Thanks for the kind words John................but I'm far to emotionally shallow to let such life events affect me much ;-)............my concern was more to do with first aid protocols, that appear to prevent action rather than promote action :-S...............especially after the paramedics turned up and dragged the bloke unceremoniously from his car and started CPR straight away.............which is what I'd suggested we do to the first aider chap.

 

Now I'm not suggesting for one minute that he was tardy in his response, he was clearly up to date with the latest protocols (That dam word again *-))...........neither do I think had we started CPR that we'd of made the slightest bit of difference to the outcome, as he'd probably passed over before he came to a stop........but I do wonder, if sometimes the HSE and at times even legal concerns prevent pragmatic actions in these situations?

 

On reflection though....... It does make you realise just how fickle, fates finger is, because had his ticker kept going for another couple of beats, he would of collided head on with the fully loaded car transporter, maybe causing it to turnover and hurl the top deck of vans and cars into the oncoming traffic 8-).........as it was he sailed miraculously through a gap in the traffic, that alone I hope would bring some comfort to his family :-|

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pelmetman - 2013-09-03 12:15 PM

On reflection though....... It does make you realise just how fickle, fates finger is, because had his ticker kept going for another couple of beats, he would of collided head on with the fully loaded car transporter, maybe causing it to turnover and hurl the top deck of vans and cars into the oncoming traffic 8-).........as it was he sailed miraculously through a gap in the traffic, that alone I hope would bring some comfort to his family :-|

 

Or maybe that was the last reactions of a good man to a situation of which the final outcome he maybe realised he was losing control over?

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Tracker - 2013-09-03 1:14 PM

 

pelmetman - 2013-09-03 12:15 PM

On reflection though....... It does make you realise just how fickle, fates finger is, because had his ticker kept going for another couple of beats, he would of collided head on with the fully loaded car transporter, maybe causing it to turnover and hurl the top deck of vans and cars into the oncoming traffic 8-).........as it was he sailed miraculously through a gap in the traffic, that alone I hope would bring some comfort to his family :-|

 

Or maybe that was the last reactions of a good man to a situation of which the final outcome he maybe realised he was losing control over?

 

A very good way of looking at the situation Rich.

 

I am sure that is what we would all try to do.

 

 

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CliveH - 2013-09-03 1:34 PM

 

Tracker - 2013-09-03 1:14 PM

 

pelmetman - 2013-09-03 12:15 PM

On reflection though....... It does make you realise just how fickle, fates finger is, because had his ticker kept going for another couple of beats, he would of collided head on with the fully loaded car transporter, maybe causing it to turnover and hurl the top deck of vans and cars into the oncoming traffic 8-).........as it was he sailed miraculously through a gap in the traffic, that alone I hope would bring some comfort to his family :-|

 

Or maybe that was the last reactions of a good man to a situation of which the final outcome he maybe realised he was losing control over?

 

 

 

A very good way of looking at the situation Rich.

 

I am sure that is what we would all try to do.

 

 

It would be nice to think so............but from what the first aider stated, who had been following him for a couple of miles, the driver pulled onto the A16 and accelerated away as normal then the car suddenly lost speed and veered to the right into the path of the car transporter............. the lorry driver said he was collapsed at the wheel............ :-S...................

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nowtelse2do - 2013-09-03 3:38 PM

 

I think this just show's (as in an earlier thread) that a medical and reaction test is the way to go for people over a certain age.

 

Sorry for going off thread.

 

Dave

 

Not sure that a test would've helped in this situation Dave............ who can predict a heart attack? :-|

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Protocols are fine when the situation is ideal.

Could you have saved his life by administering CPR straight away? Possibly, you'll never know but personally I would have tried.

There is always the danger of aggravating or worsening injuries by moving someone but surely preservation of life is paramount.Better a broken back and be alive than to die because someone was more concerned about (possibly) causing other injuries.

 

If latest protocol (and to be honest, it's a new one on me) dictates that you leave people in situ, then that's a reflection on peoples worry that they'd be sued if they caused further injury to the patient.

 

Having said that, you have my sympathy in having to witness it and the thought in your mind of "What if", I've been there but luckily didn't have to make a decision on CPR, my driver was gushing claret from a torn neck and bled out before the paramedics arrived despite the efforts of three of us.

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donna miller - 2013-09-03 6:04 PM

Better a broken back and be alive than to die because someone was more concerned about (possibly) causing other injuries.

.

 

I am not so sure that possibly being condemned to life at best in a wheelchair and at worst in a vegetative condition would be better than being dead?

 

And if I had been the one to cause such injuries by moving the person I don't think I would be feeling very pleased with myself right now, whereas by not moving them although I would of course be upset but at least I would have the knowledge that I didn't make things worse.

 

Every situation is different and all we can do as mere mortals is what we think is best at the time.

 

The last time I arrived on the scene of a fatal RTC was many years ago and the guys who were already there me they were a first aiders and would I go find a phone and get help which let me off the hook. I have still never forgotten that scene of devastation of a head on high speed collision and I doubt I ever will.

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donna miller - 2013-09-03 6:04 PMProtocols are fine when the situation is ideal. Could you have saved his life by administering CPR straight away? Possibly, you'll never know but personally I would have tried. There is always the danger of aggravating or worsening injuries by moving someone but surely preservation of life is paramount.Better a broken back and be alive than to die because someone was more concerned about (possibly) causing other injuries.If latest protocol (and to be honest, it's a new one on me) dictates that you leave people in situ, then that's a reflection on peoples worry that they'd be sued if they caused further injury to the patient.Having said that, you have my sympathy in having to witness it and the thought in your mind of "What if", I've been there but luckily didn't have to make a decision on CPR, my driver was gushing claret from a torn neck and bled out before the paramedics arrived despite the efforts of three of us.

 

I think you're correct there Donna.  Armed Forces first aid training was always.......breathing, bleeding, shock(BBS).  Isolate from danger if necessary before attempting the BBS action.

 

I seem to recall there was a case of litigation by someone rescued from a potentially deadly situation but suffered paralysis in the process.

 

It's a shame society has gone so far down the line of 'ass covering'.

 

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You can't give CPR to a casualty while they are sitting in a seat. They've got to be laid out on a firm surface otherwise you won't 'squeeze' the heart to pump the blood. When I was in the fire service we would leave the casualty in situ until the ambulance crew said it was safe to remove them. If we got there first and no pulse was detected we'd get them out as quickly as possible and perform CPR. Commonsense must surely apply in situations such as these?

Personally, I'd rather be 'in trouble' for doing something rather than nothing. 

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Guest pelmetman

Well........... that was the week that was........... :-S

 

I think I've overdosed on protocols this week 8-).............Thursday I went in for my gallbladder op.......first thing I saw on my bed a laminated sheet of A4 proudly stating..........."this bed has been cleaned in accordance with NE Lincolnshire hospital protocols" :D

 

I'll give em their due though ;-)..............my faith in the NHS has been restored...........following the series of cock ups, and obvious gerrymandering of the waiting list, that got me kicked of the waiting list for the procedure at Boston hospital *-).......................... it turned out to be a result.... as I ended up going to Louth hospital :->...............a proper old fashioned hospital where they almost made being ill a pleasure :D

 

Now laid up for a week.............guess I'll have nothing better to do than make a nuisance of myself >:-)

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It can be fun Dave. A while back my umbilical hernia (belly button) ripped when I stupidly tried to lift a large bag of straw that we had not realised was also full or rainwater. I literally felt it tear like a zip!

 

After a week the pain died down and was on the waiting list for day surgery. I managed to get a cancelation spot very quickly and was home same day having a glass of Shiraz that evening.

 

Was sore for a week but after that felt a bit of a fraud - everyone told me the recovery would be slow and lifting things very problematic - but because they "glued" me back together rather than stitched i was up and about in no time

 

So my recovery was actually highly enjoyable. Only negative? - i had a beer with a couple of mates about 2 wks after the op and that was not good - felt very uncomfortable. I found eating and drinking a little an often worked better.

 

Totally different Op of course - but I hope your recovery was as good as mine. :-D

 

 

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To use another David Frost'isim ;-).........mine was through the keyhole :D.............feel a bit tender, but not needed to stay on the pain killers, and in and out in a day B-)............all me plumbing seems to be working again, although I've not carried out full user checks yet (lol)........

 

Apparently it'll be a month or longer before I can get back to work proper, because of the risk of a hernia :-S..................not to worry though...........I enjoy being idle :D.........

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CliveH - 2013-09-07 10:23 AM

 

It can be fun Dave. A while back my umbilical hernia (belly button) ripped when I stupidly tried to lift a large bag of straw that we had not realised was also full or rainwater. I literally felt it tear like a zip!

 

 

Come on Clive, admit to it.....you were a bit heavy handed pick the fluff out of it. :D

 

Dave

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Actually it was wedging in a large tumbler full of Shiraz in my belly button as i lazed about in the pool that did it really.

 

I only did it so I could use both hands to paddle over to get another olive.

 

Tragic accident really.

 

I had been shouting for help for some time you know.

 

You just can not get the staff these days...........

 

 

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