Print Story Ah, bloody hands
By Breaker (Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 12:04:29 PM EST) (all tags)
Yet again.

SO, met with two slave traders yesterday, who were keen to extoll the virtues of their clients.

Got off the tube at Oval, as I do, heading home, a little later than expected, MBW was getting worried.

Got into an animated conversation with these folks who were not up for any discussion, just "it's idealogy, idealogy, idealogy".

Interrupted by an almight crump; a motorbike and rider just got run over by a car.

I looked up in time to see him hit the lampost legs sideways.

I run up the street, idiots are already trying to take his helmet off, there's scratches down it which may mean cranial or neck injury.  I push them away "NO NO NO".

His leg bone looks shattered, out through the back of his thigh just above his knee.

I cinch it with my belt, my jacket under his head.  It's pissing down raining and all I think of is "I'm going to get sued if he dies".

I breathe in and out, 45 times, because that's about 30 seconds, and release the tourniquet. 

Five...Four..Three...Two...One...  Back on.I'm going to get sued, this guy's going to die.

Funny how blood spreads in water, it's a lot more than you think.

Pumping, red, they never showed this in the St John's courses, it was all sterile RescusciAnnies.

Some chick touches my shoulder and tells me an abulance is on the way.  How badly have I fucked it that I didn't even manage a 999 call?

Five...Four..Three...Two...One...  Back on.

It's cold and raining still, I'm wet through and the motorcycle guy is coming around, I tell him it's OK when I don't think it is.

Someone behind me pushes up a golf umbrella to keep us from the rain, and I can't even thank her because I'm counting, counting, my phone is useless in the rain, and there's this blood, blood, blood, and he's screaming and trying to move, and there's blood.

Five...Four..Three...Two...One...  Back on.


The welcome scream of the ambulance, the arrival of not my problem anymore, and I cry, then weep.

Lucky it's raining, though.  No one sees.

They roll him onto a stretcher, and then the police arrive.

Name address, phone number, the whole lot. 

The ambulance leaves, blue lights rolling.

I tell the copper to look to the driver who's stopped with her bonnet dented, in a motorbike shape.

Eventually I get to go home; jacket sodden and no belt, and one hell of a reason to explain to MBW and MBW's Mum why I'm late.

But today, one of the ambulance medics dropped off my belt, still wet and a little bit bloodied.

"Responding well to treatment, full use of limbs expected" she said.

"Well done".

I've been crying on and off all day.

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Ah, bloody hands | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
We're taught to apply constant pressure to artery. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 12:14:43 PM EST
The "on-off with the belt" method doesn't really appear to promote clotting. Oh, well. Sounds like they caught him in time.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Infection by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 03:18:09 PM EST
Blood pumping out clears it.

And yeah they did.  Pretty chuffing glad the pros turned up when they did.

[ Parent ]
Do you really want to promote clotting? by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #7 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 03:23:11 PM EST
I thought you wanted to get a compromise between some blood flow through the cut off area and preventing blood from pouring out of his/her body. I would have thought that clots would be bad, especially as they might travel

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Infection control by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #8 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 03:30:14 PM EST
is not the #1 priority of the first responder. Clothing and skin get sucked into bullet wounds. Sometimes you have to reach your muddy hand in a man's thigh and pinch a femoral artery closed. Shite happens and the doctors can clean up the mess later.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
On London streets by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 03:36:39 PM EST
It is.

Unless there was a bullet involved.  Rats piss in the streets, and that's not the worst.

[ Parent ]
tourniquets... by gzt (4.00 / 1) #26 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:53:42 AM EST
...American civilian first aid doesn't teach tourniquets anymore except as, like, absolute last resort. I hear it's different in the military these days because of some recent research into outcomes in that specific environment. So, you're right.

[ Parent ]
And the reason why is... by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #28 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 01:59:21 PM EST
that the vast majority of tourniquet applications will lead to preventable amputations. I'd only consider using one in the event of a complete amputation far from help, and only then as close to the wound as possible.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I will do some more reading by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #29 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:20:23 PM EST
And I'm halfway into doing a proper St John's again - bear in mind the last time I did a full course was about 19 years ago.  Back then, it was all about infection and blood supply.

[ Parent ]
I've been taught under by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #33 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 05:40:58 PM EST
both civilian and military first-responder regimens. Obviously, there are different contexts to those situations and it's important to know which type you're in. When I've been called upon to act in either, I became oddly lucid. I don't panic easily, but the shakes can hit you pretty hard after the fact.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Lucidity by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #35 Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 05:50:11 AM EST
Weird, isn't it?

Maybe that's part of it.  Everyone else runs around like headless chickens, and you're there trying to remember page 48 of the training course.

My copper Uncle once had to pick up a decapitated head (train runners forgot there was a bridge); it was only when he got home, and took off his uniform he vomited and cried endlessly.

[ Parent ]
good work. by clock (4.00 / 3) #2 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 01:11:37 PM EST
well played.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Since we're taking your actors/superheroes by yankeehack (4.00 / 2) #3 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 01:36:46 PM EST
for our movies, I'm glad you're the superhero in real life.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
I'm not. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #16 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 06:03:11 AM EST
But I used to be a Scout instructor, and the first aid training is mandatory.

[ Parent ]
The Blessing of the Tyrant upon your house... by atreides (4.00 / 3) #4 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 02:19:44 PM EST
You, sir, have performed a mitzvah.

He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.

How long is it by anonimouse (4.00 / 5) #5 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 03:00:15 PM EST
before you start wearing your pants outside your trousers?

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
I'm still unemployed. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #37 Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 06:16:35 AM EST
Pants are optional!

[ Parent ]
Well done, indeed by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #10 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 03:55:47 PM EST

Good job! -nt by chuckles (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 05:22:27 PM EST

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
You did a good thing. by sugar spun (4.00 / 2) #12 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 07:36:35 PM EST
How are you feeling?

Pretty shaken up even today. by Breaker (4.00 / 3) #15 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 06:02:21 AM EST
And I can't put my finger on why that is.  I've felt much calmer after a fight, to be honest.

[ Parent ]
Maybe by sugar spun (4.00 / 2) #17 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 07:30:00 AM EST
try thinking about how you feel different after a fight and what the differences are? If you're comparing the two sorts of aftermath then there may be something similar between them for you, but the differences are where the interesting stuff will be.

My inbox is open, as always.

[ Parent ]
Post fight: by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #20 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:24:16 PM EST
Usually sore, if I've been hit.  Always sore, hands, knees and usually the back of my thighs; I think I'm fitter than I am.

Adrenaline comedown is usually hard, but I know how much damage I've inflicted and I'm not out to kill, just immobilise.

And I don't really fight unless I see no other way, and there's almost always another way.

But I think, I walk from fights having won, clear and decisive.

Post accident, I've had no input or control, there's just someone that needs help, no one's at fault.  Maybe that's what the difference is I don't know.  I was really, really pleased that the ambulance crew tapped up the coppers for my address to return my belt though.  

Many thanks for your offer of inbox, but I'd have this conversation in public where others can comment too.

I'm at a loss as to why this has laid me low emotionally, when other high emotion events like fighting pass me by unscathed.

Is it the lack of finality - is the guy really OK; did the ambulance crew exaggerate or lie to me?

I'll never know, but if I fought and won I know the result.

Maybe that's it?  The knowing of the end result?

[ Parent ]
From what you've said (potted) by sugar spun (4.00 / 1) #22 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 04:13:08 PM EST
it seems as though the key differences are your feelings of being in or not in control and your sense of something having finished or being unfinished. I wonder if maybe one feeds into the other?

[ Parent ]
Today by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #30 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:36:30 PM EST
I am feeling much more "finished".

There's nothing more I can do.  I did what I could at the time, even though perhaps it was incomplete, incompetent, or wrong.

Ambulance crew still returned a positive result on it, and that's probably the best I'll get back on it.  Bless them, though, I don't think that visiting MoP's is in their charter, but they did. 

I can live with that.

I suppose it comes down to  - "did I do enough?".  Many other things, you get an immediate result.  Fight - are you walking away intact?

Helping someone, now, how do you know, long term?  Did I help?

But yeah, in control and finished is much better, mentally, then out of control and unknown.  Even unfinished would be better than unknown.

But, anyway, in a more gentle place today, thanks.

[ Parent ]
He lived by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #34 Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 02:43:52 AM EST
Therefore what you did was neither incomplete, incompetent, nor wrong.  Q.E.D.

I've never been in your situation, and likely never will be.  I've not had the training, nor these days the clarity of thought to do what you did.  To me, what you did is nothing short of miraculous.  You held him together long enough for "professional" help to arrive, and prevented others from further injuring him.  Anyone injured in public should be so lucky as to have someone like you around. 

Glad to hear you're feeling better about it.  You should be proud of yourself.

[ Parent ]
I wasn't expecting it myself. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #36 Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 06:09:38 AM EST
But I did do a lot of first aid training in the Scouts - had to do a week then 2 day refresher courses each year to maintain my instructor certificate.

That was a long time ago though, and I think a lot of the peril was how long it was, you forget over time the precise details.  Was it 30 seconds on and five off?  Am I helping here, or making sure that gangrene sets in and this guy loses his leg because of my actions?

[ Parent ]
I can see that. by sugar spun (4.00 / 1) #39 Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 01:01:50 PM EST

I'm glad you're doing better today and that you seem to have got to a place where it's as finished as it can be. And it does seem like you did the right thing under the circumstances; handing him over alive and in reasonable shape is the best outcome you could have hoped for.

If something like that accident ever happened to me, I'd want someone like you to be walking by.

[ Parent ]
Could have done better, though by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #40 Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 04:03:21 PM EST
But didn't.

It's done, and if you do have an accident like that, I really hope you have someone who /knows/ what thery're doing, instead of guessing.

But thanks for your support, you've been a disconnected voice of reason, and for that I thank you.

[ Parent ]
Realistically .... by gpig (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 04:49:23 PM EST
.... there isn't going to be a nurse, doctor or paramedic strolling by every time someone needs help like that.

You did your best with what you had, and it sounds like you did what had to be done -- so don't be hard on yourself. Above all else you were willing to help, even as you were thinking that you might get sued. That in itself is worth a lot. A crowd of people standing around saying "oh my god, what do we do" while he bled out wouldn't have been any use.
(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
*hug* [nt] by tierrasimbolica (4.00 / 1) #13 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 09:20:55 PM EST

Sweet Jesus by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #14 Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 10:31:12 PM EST
I'm sorry man. It's okay, you did the right thing.

Hard thing to do, but you did good.

"Adrenaline dumbs pain" - xth
I'm going to get sued if he dies by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #18 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 02:52:14 PM EST
In the US we have Good Samaritan laws for just those sort of occasions.

Good work.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Not over here, sadly. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #19 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:15:59 PM EST
And since I stopped going to the St John's Ambulance courses, their insurance no longer covers me.

Since I lost my job, I have no personal liability insurance either.

[ Parent ]
Has there been a case by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #24 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:27:12 AM EST
Of someone being sued in a situation like this? When I do my first aid courses I've never been told anything along those lines. The only thing we get told not to do is give tramps mouth-to-mouth because of the risk of disease :)

Well done by the way.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Yep. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #31 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:42:12 PM EST
But this was ~19 years ago, though, I don't know if the law has changed.  If you did a first aid course recently, either the State will cover you (given your job and when you do the aid), and sometimes you have a time based insurance on the training - I used to be covered by St John's for a year after any course passed; that may have changed though. 

And yeah, disease.  I can't get the guy's name  although I know the hospital (ambulance crew helpfully had it on their lapels).

So no idea if he was HIV, hepatitus x or what.  Even if I did, I can't ask him to take any blood test if he doesn't want to.

I'm looking at my hands, which have scratches from work on the house last week, and a little from pushing a body around on Tarmac, and worrying a little.

[ Parent ]
you might get sued in America... by gzt (4.00 / 1) #27 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:55:51 AM EST
...if he loses the limb and you applied a tourniquet (esp. if trained in first aid), as tourniquets are no longer recommended. IIRC.

[ Parent ]
Excellent. work by Phage (4.00 / 2) #21 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:42:14 PM EST
I understand that sugary tea and biscuits is very useful for those who help.

not to mention by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #38 Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 07:19:07 AM EST

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Well done my man! by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #23 Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 09:23:32 PM EST
Very well done! 

Nice one by priestess (4.00 / 1) #25 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:17:55 AM EST
Your life seems so much more exciting than mine. I'm glad mine is dull compared to this though :o

Chat to the virtual me...

TBH. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:42:39 PM EST
Enough, already, KTHX?

[ Parent ]
Ah, bloody hands | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback