It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a large van travelling at 30mph making contact with a human male man is going to cause a considerable amount of damage. I can now confirm that it does.
We received an emergency as given above. When we got there, we found a typical RTC (Road Traffic Collision) scene; lots of bystanders, rubbernecking car drivers, a few stopped cars etc etc. This time there was one addition – an unconscious person led on the floor with a rather unhealthy amount of blood on the outside of his body
He was unconscious and his eyes were looking different ways (you don’t need to be medically trained to know that that is not a good sign!).
He was breathing OK and his chest was a) in one piece with no dents or holes, and b) had good air movement throughout.
We gave him some oxygen while fitting a hard collar around his neck to protect his spine in the likely event of a fracture. He then woke up, not fully, but enough to start shouting abuse and trying to punch and kick my crew mate and I.
Now occasionally with a head injury, comes something called Cerebral Agitation. This is when the brain has taken a pounding and reacts by causing the person to become violent, even when they could be the most peaceful, calm person normally.
In this state, he was very difficult to manage. In an ideal world, we would fully immobilise him, fully assess him and convey him to A&E, however, it was taking 4 of us to hold this chap on the stretcher. We don’t normally restrain our patients, but if you feel in danger, or the patient is in danger of further injuring themselves, it’s ok to use reasonable force.
We requested a Critical Care Doctor to come on the air ambulance and sedate the patient, purely for his safety. The good Doctor (and they are all very good doctors on the air ambulances) flew in and obliged. Once he was sedated, we could secure his airway by passing a tube into his lungs and breathing for him with a ventilator.
We then had a good top-to-toe assessment for any broken bits, loaded him onto the chopper and they flew him to a major trauma centre.
Major trauma like that doesn’t come along all that often, but when it does, it’s nice to know that you have additional clinical support where necessary.
I’m not sure of the condition of the patient now – that’s one of the downsides of the job, you rarely get to find out a final outcome.