Trauma training day
A high speed road traffic collision has left
multiple casualties in urgent need of medical attention. The front
seat passenger from one of the vehicles is lying unconscious with
serious head injuries on the bonnet of a car after going through
The driver is about to fall unconscious, while
one rear seat passenger has neck and abdominal injuries, and
another has superficial injuries but is hysterical due to the
traumatic events. In the second car an elderly driver is sitting
motionless and in pain.
This was one of four simulated incidents on
Thursday, March 15, run by South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS
Foundation Trust (SECAmb) clinical team leaders (CTLs) from
Leatherhead Ambulance Station.
In reality life-threatening trauma incidents
are uncommon for a typical ambulance crew, but when emergency
services respond, how they interact could be crucial to clinical
Hosted by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service at
Leatherhead Fire Station, fire crews from Epsom and Dorking trained
alongside SECAmb clinicians in exercises examining their unique
skills, as well as their teamwork.
Two road traffic collisions using upturned
vehicles tested how 999 crews come to a team decision when faced
with technically difficult entrapments where hydraulic cutting gear
is needed to free victims.
A fourth scenario saw crews dealing with
casualties after a gas explosion where workmen were on an elevated
platform, using prosthetics on one victim to simulate being
Members of St John’s volunteered as
casualties, wearing make-up to create visually realistic injuries
and they were briefed by CTLs who threw in the medical equivalent
of a ‘curve ball’ to see how crews reacted to changes in patients’
Dan Dodd, a third year student paramedic from
Leatherhead Ambulance Station, dealt with one scenario.
“One of the drivers suddenly fell unconscious
and she was found to be hypoglycaemic, so I reacted by giving her a
[simulated] glucose injection,” Dan said.
“This was my first situation as a paramedic
where there were multiple casualties. I found it very useful in
terms of prioritising patients, basically assessing where I need to
be at the right time to treat the most critically injured.”
Watch manager at Leatherhead Fire Station,
Steve Smith, said: “They were very good training exercises between
the two services. As it’s a controlled environment you can step
back, assess, and communicate with each other, which is invaluable
going forward because some members might not have attended a major
trauma scene before.”
Event organiser, CTL for Leatherhead Ambulance
Station, Vickey Johnson, thanked her staff who gave up their free
time to attend the event and added: “Joint training gives emergency
services a practical insight into the resources you have at your
disposal at trauma incidents.
“Thankfully, trauma makes up a small part of
the work we do as a Trust. Building good relations with the fire
and rescue service makes everybody operate more efficiently, which
ultimately improves clinical outcomes for patients.”