Accident Scenes: Do You Always Offer Assistance? - page 5

by JW2011 11,439 Views | 82 Comments

Ok, so I have read what many have felt their obligation would be on the scene of an accident, but what would you do if you caused the accident, hitting a pedestrian, country road, EMS 10 minutes or more away, obvious head injury,... Read More


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    Good point by Flare. They may have been rendered useless by the horror if the situation. Many people have that reaction - even medical professionals.
  2. 0
    Thank you all for your responses. I do know for a fact that he died alone, that she never touched him, and EMS were significantly delayed in their reponse time due to her inability to relay the needed information, and EMS told me how frustrating it was trying to get that information from her. I guess any thought of instruction on assistance was out of the question.

    I think what has kept me in this "trying to understand" mode is that I really WANT to understand, and WANT to move on from it, but these facts that I have shared, along with the knowledge that there was likely impairment and inattention, and a person that has never uttered "sorry", and in fact lied to our family and to the police in an effort to gain sympathy, proven lies now, but they go to character and came too late to change what law enforcement did or didn't do, and because she has demonstrated that she learned NOTHING, and has continued to drive in a manner that is endangering people's lives. A violation just months after the crash that killed our son, where she was charged and found guilty of negligent driving. Different state, and different cop...

    Loopholes and lack of laws in our state allowed this person to face no legal consequence, and now I am involved in trying to rectify that status, by engaging those in the position to change laws in this effort. I know it won't bring my son back, but hopefully will prevent another family from enduring not only the pain of losing a child, but hopefully hold persons responsible accountable.
  3. 1
    I hope you succeed. For all the mothers out there. And again, I am really so sorry for your loss.
    JW2011 likes this.
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    Quote from CrufflerJJ
    Thanks for your feelings of wanting to stop & help. You are right, however, on being a potential distraction if you actually do stop at the scene.

    Whether you'd be of value on a scene or not, it is almost certain that by showing up, you will distract the crews from performing needed pt care.

    If you really feel the draw of helping on EMS scenes, you might consider getting certified as an EMT or EMT-Paramedic. One of our local trauma center docs actually got certified as an EMT/Firefighter, and performed in that role as a volunteer.
    Funny that you should mention that, CrufflerJJ. In addition to being an RN with pre-hospital care training and experience, I am also an Advanced Wilderness Life Support Provider, which includes training in paramedicine. However, knowledge is not enough. Working an emergency scene requires a high level of team work and coordination. EMS professionals train and work together so that they can work as an effective team. Since I have not trained with my local EMS colleagues, I would end up getting in the way. So, to put my skills to use, I have joined my local search and rescue team, where I can serve as an RN/Medic in a setting in which I can help a patient effectively. Knowing the right time and place in which to use one's skills is as important as the skills themselves.
  5. 0
    Quote from Esme12
    You can render first aid or CPR until EMS comes. You can't move them without proper immobilization but you can prevent them from being moved. Youcan keep them calm until the proper authorities arrives with the proper equipment to transport and move the patient.
    Esme, when I teach wilderness and disaster medicine, I emphasize that one of the most important functions an off-duty provider can provide an an accident victim is that of body guard, protecting the victim by stopping well intended but poorly prepared Samaritans from doing harm, their good intentions not withstanding!
  6. 0
    Yes, I know how delicate we as humans are. She may have not been able to change the outcome no matter how experienced, but I can't tell you how much it hurts me that she didn't even try. We don't know what thoughts if any go through a victim's heart or mind during those moments, and it would have been a great comfort to me to know someone was with him and cared enough to speak to him and at least let him know help was on the way.

    I don't think EMS had a clue of how long it had been since he was hit, as it was a 2nd caller that finally gave the needed info to get them there at all. They got there 10 minutes after that call and still tried to save him. I wonder if they knew he had been there for 16 minutes or more instead of the 10 since they were dispatched, if they would have pronounced him there instead of trying unsuccessfully to restore breathing, heartbeat etc., and then transporting to nearest hospital. where he was pronounced within 10 minutes of arrival.

    Quote from RNperdiem
    Sadly with head injuries, even with all the equipment and training in the world, we are all delicate creatures.
    Last edit by JW2011 on Oct 16, '12
  7. 1
    Quote from JD'sMom
    Yes, I know how delicate we as humans are. She may have not been able to change the outcome no matter how experienced, but I can't tell you how much it hurts me that she didn't even try. We don't know what thoughts if any go through a victim's heart or mind during those moments, and it would have been a great comfort to me to know someone was with him and cared enough to speak to him and at least let him know help was on the way.

    I don't think EMS had a clue of how long it had been since he was hit, as it was a 2nd caller that finally gave the needed info to get them there at all. They got there 10 minutes after that call and still tried to save him. I wonder if they knew he had been there for 16 minutes or more instead of the 10 since they were dispatched, if they would have pronounced him there instead of trying unsuccessfully to restore breathing, heartbeat etc., and then transporting to nearest hospital. where he was pronounced within 10 minutes of arrival.
    It sounds like she lost her mind.....being unable to give directions, make sense of things. The mind is a powerful organ especially when it doesn't work right.

    I have been a trauma flight nurse and where a child is involved resuscitation begins. Children can be amazingly resilient.......you just never know the outcome at the scene. I have seen children that were obviously injured with I would call an unsurvivable injury.......recover.......maybe not to baseline but they recover.

    I have seen children that didn't appear to be "that injured" have injuries that no one could recover from. Depending on the EMS and the requirements of the state and whether they are Paramedics the may be obligated to transport and not able to declare deaths at the scene.....maybe they panicked too and just wanted to try to save him. I would not have left him on the side of the riad either......I would have transported and tried.

    It is all so complicated.

    Most of the time......at the scene of an accident, even with experience there is nothing that can be done without the proper equipment, medicine, blood and MUCH greater harm, even causing death, can by trying to "Help". In trauma there is a "golden hour" where trauma has an opportunity for resuscitation it is the EMT's obligation to try everything they can to get the patient to a hospital ASAP to receive that life saving care.....if their life can be saved.

    I have attempted resuscitation when everyone "knew" it would not be successful because the child deserves that chance and so does the family.......at least one "round of meds" so that even we can deal with the sadness at the loss of one so young.

    I know it has only been a year. Take this energy you possess to affect change.

    I cannot change what happened to your son. I cannot change what the driver did or didn't do what she was or wasn't doing. The driver will have to live with herself and someday she too will face her maker......therein lies the true judgement and there is nowhere to hide then.

    i wish you peace.
    JW2011 likes this.
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    Thank you for taking the time to explain, and I hope peace is attainable. I will continue to fight for change, as I would not wish this on anyone else, and hopefully can do something to prevent it.

    Can you tell me how to change my username?

    Quote from Esme12
    I know it has only been a year. Take this energy you possess to affect change.

    I cannot change what happened to your son. I cannot change what the driver did or didn't do what she was or wasn't doing. The driver will have to live with herself and someday she too will face her maker......therein lies the true judgement and there is nowhere to hide then.

    i wish you peace.
    Esme12 likes this.
  9. 1
    I'm deeply saddened for your situation. I wish you peace.

    I do want to offer some sides that may show things do get lost in translation. Or at least one side.
    At my last job, as an interfacility transport EMT, I was doing a solo wheelchair run. On route to the facility (no patient yet) I witness a the vehicle in front of me veer off the road into a ditch. Obviously, I had to help. I saw the accident and proceeded to call my boss as I ran to grab gloves alerting that I was calling 911 (he thought I caused the accident b/c I was so short LOL). As I walked to where I could see the accident they were already out of the vehicle and I was able to assess there was head trauma (in spite of them walking) and two patients, but I could not safely get to them where they were. While I instructed them to stay put, I dialed 911. Indicated I had TWO patients. Both with head injuries. I would need two vehicles. I also gave approximate ages. By this point the patients were out of the ditch because they refused to stay put, and I proceeded to instruct them to be still while I grabbed the bloodiest one, held C-spine and started taking a history. I had the vehicle behind me stop and told him where he could grab gloves and instructed him on how to hold c-spine and that it was all we could do.

    So, back track...I very clearly indicated two patients (I repeated this fact and requested two ambulances), with head injuries. Arrive on scene the first responder. He promptly reprimands me for not clarifying that there were two patients and that he would need to dispatch another. Something clearly was lost in translation.

    All that to say, we don't really know what this woman told 911. All we know is what the EMS providoers on scene extrapolated from dispatch. She may have called. She may have given all the information, but the guy on the other end of the line didn't quite get what she was saying.

    I do hope she learns though to stop driving erratically. I am horribly sorry for your grief. And nothing I can say will make it better. I just know, having worked EMS, things are rarely what we are dispatched for. So I thought I'd clarify. Please hug yourself tonight. You have much grieving to do. Be kind to yourself. If you need to seek legal action to find peace, do so. Much love, to you and your family.
    JW2011 likes this.
  10. 0
    Thank you. I appreciate your input. I haven't really had the opportunity to find out all the details in depth yet, and it will take legal action to have access to it. I think I will pursue that much as I believe I need to have my questions answered or I will never have closure.

    What a world we live in, that the family of a deceased child isn't allowed to see complete reports, recordings, etc., without a court order.

    Quote from LCinTraining
    I am horribly sorry for your grief. And nothing I can say will make it better. I just know, having worked EMS, things are rarely what we are dispatched for. So I thought I'd clarify. Please hug yourself tonight. You have much grieving to do. Be kind to yourself. If you need to seek legal action to find peace, do so. Much love, to you and your family.


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