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Author Topic: Car Wrecks  (Read 1661 times)

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Offline crazy horse

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Car Wrecks
« on: April 11, 2009, 11:23:31 PM »

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Car Wrecks
Paramedic’s Corner
April 2009


   Car wrecks are a scary thing. Those of us EMTs and paramedics who have been around awhile can always tell the rookies, the ones who can’t wait to work a “good” car wreck. When I am somewhere and hear that, I always know that I am hearing a rookie, a person who hasn’t seen much death and dismemberment, or a quite foolish person.  When I tell them my favorite car wreck is a dry run, I’m sure they think I’m just lazy. They’ll learn after a few years.
   Car wreck or crash, appropriately termed a motor vehicle crash (MVC), remain the number 1 killer of young people in our nation. This never changes from year-to-year, try as we may to change things and prevent these horrible wrecks, the deaths, brain and spinal cord injuries just keep coming. So, how can we prevent these crashes, and how can you protect yourself and your loved ones? I write frequently about slowing down, wearing safety restraints, being attentive, and do not drive under the influence of mind-altering substances, or ride with anyone who is under the influence of any mind-altering substance, be it alcohol, legal prescriptions, or illegal drugs. But, we know a lot of people simply just don’t pay any attention, so what can we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones? I often think about a chapter in the Bible in Ephesians Chapter 6: 11-17: Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…having on the breastplate of righteousness…the shield of faith…the helmet of salvation…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   I like to call it: Putting on your armour to survive our highways: Using as a metaphor to surviving on our highways, put on safety restraints, driving slower, being attentive becomes our armour, helmet and so on. For our kids, if we can at least persuade them to wear restraints, slow down, and never ever drive under the influence or ride with someone under the influence of mind-altering substances--this alone could save their life.
   People sometimes will ask: what is the worst car wreck you ever seen? Well they are all bad. I’ve been working car wrecks since I was twenty years old and the only good ones are the ones that don’t happen. We get canceled enroute because it wasn’t actually a wreck or we are told by someone that no one is hurt. As long as the information is correct, that is. Once in awhile, we get canceled when someone is actually hurt, or sick. Those out in Scannerville, when you hear us being so diligent and adamant regarding this; please remember it is our moral and lawful duty to ensure the patient actually canceled the ambulance. The cancellation must be legitimate. We have been canceled by well-meaning people on the scene and later called back to a serious injury or illness--sometimes life-threatening. People who are not educated in appropriate patient assessment can easily make an error resulting in disastrous outcomes for the patient. 
   Once we were canceled enroute to a call and unknown to us the person was in a life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) condition. The person’s glucose level was in the low 30s. Thank goodness for an alert firefighter who was at the scene! The firefighter asked the person a few of the right questions and discovered he was a diabetic. Others at the scene thought he was merely drunk. The firefighter immediately recalled us. This saved the man’s life. Diabetes, many times, emulates intoxication.
   One hopes by presenting public education to prevent some of these tragedies. I just don’t know, other than be sure you wear your safety restraints, how well we are doing though. When I see how so many nice, civilized, decent people become such monsters when they get behind the wheel. All you have to do is drive 7, 28, T, or Y highway and observe the danger. Drive any of those and drive normal, try to do the speed limit; people will pass you on blind hills and curves, tailgate you, cross over the median coming head-on.
   Even in town, just this last week at the top of the Waynesville Hill, where the two-lane merge into one, a young man going to lunch literally forced me over to the side of the road. He was flying, doing about 60-65. I guess he was hungry. I would tell the readers the good words I said to him as he flew by, but my editor would have to cut it, besides, my good mother reads this column and our dear, dear friend up at Lexington, Mo.; who is just recovering from cancer, faithfully reads my column weekly. We love you, pray for you, and always have good thoughts for you Delores.
   Please be careful everyone, put on your armour, spring is coming and this always initiates what we call “Trauma Season,” so wear your safety restraints, slow down, and watch out for those hungry drivers at lunch time.

Offline fish

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 02:43:52 AM »
a big part Gary is many(including me) don't realize how fast they are going. especially around curves. cars and trucks are so quiet and smooth to drive  now, it is easy to go past the speed limit without realizing it. maybe some of the bad roads are a blessing in disguise.

Offline Law101

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 01:48:41 PM »
Thanks Gary for another great column. 

Offline crazy horse

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 02:40:00 PM »
You are right fish.
 
I sure miss talking about roads with you. One of the "few very pleasant" things about being a commissioner. People like you. Talking road engineering was great. Good hearing from you fish and Happy Easter!

Offline crazy horse

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 02:41:04 PM »
Thank you very much Law101, I glad you feeling better and hope you have a happy easter!

Offline Law101

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 02:43:48 PM »
Thanks Gary.  I sure hope this bug is gone for good now.  Seems all we have been doing is passing it back and forth here at my house.

You have a Happy Easter also.

Offline fish

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2009, 03:17:41 PM »
ya never can tell Gary, things may change. I know a lot of the roads need your attention, but more importantly, the drainage systems around the roads need work..

Offline thelights

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 03:27:12 AM »
Gary....I feel the same way you do about hearing people say those things.  I became a little "mean" I guess in my last couple years of being an EMT.  When I would hear a student say..."I want to work a big car wreck with Class I trauma's" or "I want to work a code" I would just politely say..."well maybe it will be your mother or your brother or your best friends, cause that is who that patient is".  That would usually make them think, but I also got called a few names. :)  I really miss EMS most days, but I don't miss those "good" calls!!!

Offline crazy horse

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 11:45:12 PM »
Well, we miss ya in EMS. Amber stopped by the other day. First time I seen her in a long time.

Offline thelights

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 05:02:13 AM »
She told me she stopped by and she only knew about 5 people there.  She told me how she surprised you!!

Offline crazy horse

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Re: Car Wrecks
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 01:46:37 PM »
She sure did. It was good to see her and Mark.
 
I know, not too many of the old team left.