Wednesday 25 January 2012

Was it worth it?...

"Running call, male fallen off motorbike"

We had been called to an 1 month old cardiac arrest. After a slightly manic drive and a brisk walk up 3 flights of stairs we were greeted by the FRU with a crying baby in his arms. Clearly not as given! The baby had vomited some milk. Perfectly normal one might think but for the mother, it warranted an ambulance. Despite the apparent well being of our patient due to a service policy of conveying under 2s to hospital, off we went.  Our route to hospital took us on a rather large duel carriage way. It was about 6pm, rush hour, dark and raining. A motorcycle overtook me at about 60mph, then proceeded to swerve in-front of me. His back wheel was all over the place and then he lost it. His bike went over and he was thrown up into the air. Everything seemed to stop and produce clarity, I was watching him fly through the air in slow motion, his arms waving, his body rotating, helpless to stop, bracing for impact. Suddenly, it sped up again. I slammed on my breaks, stopping feet from his bike and he hit the floor. He bounced and rolled. And rolled. And rolled. He came to a stop. He was lying on the bank of grass on side of the road, motionless. 

I jumped out the truck, grabbed some bags and went over too him. Amazingly he was conscious, albeit in pain. My crew mate called control and requested a second ambulance. Due to the winter pressures however, there was no one available. A car was on route but that was all for now. I began assessing the patient, amazingly, he only appeared to have cuts and bruises. A possible fractured leg but nothing serious. No head injury, no apparent spinal injury. Needless to say, we treated for a spinal injury, he was collared and boarded, his leathers were cut off and he was fully immobilised. His voice was a bit slurred and initially I put it down to concussion but the more we spoke the more I wasn't convinced. Eventually the FRU arrived. Due to the lack of second ambulance we decided to put our mother and baby in the car and we'd take the motorcyclist and then we'd all go to the same hospital. We loaded him on to the truck, in the dry and re-assessed. Out of the rain and the wind it became clear exactly why he lost control. He was drunk. And not just a little bit drunk, he was plastered. 

We requested the police and headed off to hospital. He was 18 years old, had just started university and delivered pizzas in the evenings. In fact, he stated he was on his way to work. His boss and rung him to say he was supposed to be there and rather than say he'd been drinking all day, decided to go in. He had had over 3 litres of cider and numerous shots throughout the afternoon and didn't really see the ramifications of what was going on. He was only 18 with his life in front of him, he was going to be arrested, he was going to be charged and going to be convicted of drink driving. He was going to have a criminal record. He would have a fine to pay. He was going to lose his licence, he was going to lose his job. He was going to lose his income, he going to lose his independence and was going to seriously effect his future employability. Despite all of this his main concern was whether or not his bike was OK. I didn't have an ounce of sympathy for him. I tried to explain that the law about drink driving isn't there to be a killjoy. It's there to save lives. He is lucky no other vehicle was involved. He was lucky that the powers that be protect drunk people form serious injury. He was lucky he wasn't killed. He was lucky he didn't kill anyone. He didn't seem to care.

We arrived at the hospital and wheeled him to the corridor where we waited our turn to handover.  Moments later the police arrived. Being strapped down to a board he didn't see them walk in, it wasn't until one of their faces peered over his that he realised just exactly what he'd done and what the consequences were. Que the penny dropping. Que the tears. Que the remorse. Que the request for mum. Que the fear. Que the handcuffs.

1 comment:

  1. My old man always says that riders like that are Doners. Thats all he ever says about them.


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