Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bad weather, and worse drivers

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and if you were working like I was, an uneventful shift.

What is it about bad weather that suddenly causes people to forget how to do the simplest of tasks, like driving? Whether it be ice, sleet, snow, or rain, some people tend to throw caution to the wind and do some pretty stupid things while behind the wheel. Then there's the smaller crowd of people who are doing the right thing and simply get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

While I'm on my mini-rant, I also want to mention the stupid drivers that feel the need to do stupid things during beautiful weather. Driving a car is NOT the time or the place to do things like put on makeup, talk on the phone, eat, nap, or read. At some time or another, I've seen all the above and I still wonder how some have survived this long. Then again, go ahead and do all those things, it's job security.

First thing in the morning on a cold, rainy morning, I'm toned out to respond to a vehicle accident with injuries and entrapment. Onscene, we find 2 cars involved, an SUV and a sedan. The occupants of the SUV were walking around and appeared ok. The occupant of the sedan was pinned. As soon as the units with extrication gear arrived, we set to work cutting the car away to free the driver.

There was already an EMT in the back seat holding C-spine, but since she isn't fire trained and didn't have any protective gear on, I kicked her out of the car and took her place. I took the time to tell the patient my name and get hers. She said the EMT hadn't told her what would happen. I explained that we were going to cut the car away so we could easily get her out. The roof would be the first to go, then we would roll the dash away from her legs and get her out of there. She would be put on a hard backboard and moved to the truck where we would cut her clothes out of the way, start IV's, and get more of her medical history.

Once the roof was cut away and removed, the next focus was rolling the dash. All the appropriate cuts were made and the ram was placed. It took a little experimenting to figure out which length ram was needed. Once the dash was rolled, we realized that in order to shift the patient to the backboard, her spine was going to be twisted at a weird angle. We did one of the few things I haven't done since the academy (I believe), and broke out a KED.
This is the best picture I could find of someone in a KED. I have no idea who these people are, but if you find your way here and want the pic removed, just let me know.
KED Extrication

We got the KED on as best we could, the ram (what was holding up the dash) was in the way of the left leg strap. Since it (the ram) wasn't very secure, we just went without the strap and moved the patient. I already knew from talking to her that she had some left-side injuries, but was finally able to truely assess her and see what we had to deal with. In the car, her left leg had been crossed under her right and the emergency brake was under her left knee. Her right foot was tangled in the pedals. Nothing appeared to be broken, but she had 2 lacerations that were to the bone; one near her elbow, the other at her knee. Of course, she was also complaining of knee pain and pain in her hip. The main impact was to the driver's door and there was 6"-10" of intrusion.

In the truck, we started IV's, checked vitals, cut clothing, and bandaged wounds. As soon as they were ready, the ambulance went enroute to Big City Trauma. We called BCT for the crew and gave them a heads-up of what was coming.

Time from initial dispatch until victim freed: 40 minutes.

Before I can barely sit down back in quarters, we get toned out for another entrapment. Single vehicle loses control in the rain, spins out into a tree. Nothing too special there, until we hear the car is now on it's side and the driver is trapped.

The driver wasn't really trapped, she was just in a really weird position and we couldn't easily get her backboarded. We stabilized the car and cut part of the roof away (the sunroof was already missing). One of our guys crawled into the car and helped lift the patient while we shoved a backboard under her. From there, all the care is the same as above.

Not sure of the total time from this one, if I manage to find out, I'll edit it in.

1 comment:

Mastabattas said...

LOL. I was just doing a random google search on myself and came across the picture of a KED that you used on your blog. It's actually me and three classmates doing the demonstration.

Incidentally though, I recently changed the privacy settings on my photobucket account and I think it's caused the image to no longer be available on your blog. I'm willing to do a bit of editing to the picture (faces) and then send you the photo if you wish... but I'd like it if you'd tag back to my own blog which might be a bit neglected but still nice to maybe get some new audience too.

Let me know.