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“I’m basically first aid trained.”

Aah YouTube. You know how it is: you start with a video about the rise and fall of Capitalism in post-Communist Russia and before you realise what’s happened you find yourself watching an American teenager catch his bollocks on a ceiling fan as he tries some sort of skateboarding stunt. What’s worse is that you started by searching for “liberalism in China”.

So there I was, watching videos about the socio-economic impact of Japanese whaling, when I found myself watching a video involving someone crashing a motorbike.

Yeah, I don’t know how I found that video either.

Okay, okay, let’s quit the bullshit. The video is here, and it annoys the living fucking shit out of me.

So there’s a bunch of bikers out for a ride. We start with Sensible Rider being passed by a couple of other bikes: one has an L plate on the back. The other doesn’t. In the video, non-L-Plate looks like he either takes a right hand bend too quickly, or falls victim to target fixation. Either way, he comes off his bike at a pretty decent speed.

“Aw shit he’s crashed,” says L-Plate.

“Oh shit,” he repeats, as he slows down to turn around.

Meanwhile, Sensible Rider sees what’s happened as he follows behind. He pulls over and slows down, gets off his bike, checks to ensure that non-L-Plate’s bike is safe before approaching non-L-Plate.

“Don’t move, don’t move,” says Sensible Rider. I like him, he’s sensible. So far he’s done everything right. He’s ensured that the scene is safe (stopping safely, turning off his bike, ensuring that the crashed bike is safe) and he’s encouraged the casualty (non-L-Plate) to stay still. Well done, Sensible Rider.

Non-L-Plate doesn’t sound happy. Something clearly hurts. Sensible Rider moves non-L-Plate’s head a little in order to provide support. In first aid terms I don’t have any huge problems with this (so long as it’s done correctly) because it helps to bring the spine into natural alignment. There’s a risk with moving any trauma casualty though, so something like this should be well considered and executed carefully.

“OH FUCK!”

L-Plate’s here.

He starts by putting himself in the direct path of oncoming traffic. A move which is as stupid as it is brave. If only he’d done some sort of first aid training. If he had then he’d understand that putting himself in danger is the worst thing he could do.

Clearly shitting himself, L-Plate pushes his bike to the side of the road and fumbles with his keys. He then runs back towards the accident.

“Is he alright? … Are you okay? … Ah shit.”

These are all phrases you don’t want to hear when someone comes to help. Just sayin’.

Having established that his patient is responsive, L-Plate asks about scene safety. Fortunately, someone else has already considered Danger before Response. Not happy with reassurance from the person who’s already sat with the patient, L-Plate goes to check the bike that’s already been made safe and merrily shits himself over the location of the kill switch (it’s on the right hand side of the handlebar, like on your bike, my bike and his bike. It doesn’t matter, though, because the bike’s already off.)

At this point, some helpful fucker in a car drives past suggesting that the already-stationary bikers should “slow down.” If by some miracle you were the person in that car and you happen to be reading this, you’re a total cocksocket who makes L-Plate look good, and that’s quite an achievement, because he really tries to kill his patient. Moving on!

So now they all gather around, picking up bits of bike and talking about who’s “well quick”. This is one of the best parts of dealing with patients: you can talk about random shit as much as you like. They don’t tend to go anywhere. Great.

Some time later, L-Plate asks the poor fucker still on the floor, “are you okay?” There’s a brief discussion about the state of the bike and then L-Plate begins to look like he might be about to start a secondary survey (let’s assume that he’s done a primary survey by virtue of the fact that DRABC is covered by the fact that nobody’s run them over yet and he’s talking to the casualty). “Okay,” you think, “he’s going to start patting him down from head to toe looking for any signs of potential injury.” After all, that’s kinda the point of a secondary survey. At this point, I should stress that L-Plate is just another rider. He’s made no claims to be anything more.

“Firstly, can you move everything? Check your fingers. Check your feet. Check your toes.”

Wait, what? You’re asking your trauma casualty to move around?

No, no, I shouldn’t judge. You’re just another rider. It’s not like you’re a first aider or anything.

“Can you move everything?” he asks.

“Yeah, but that’s a bit numb,” replies our casualty, wiggling the fingers of his right hand.

“Check his shoulder, because look what he dug up with it!” someone suggests.

“Yeah, forget that a minute.”

L-Plate then checks for movement in the casualty’s elbow.

“Is that sore?”

The casualty shakes his head.

“That’s fine.”

L-Plate then moves on to his other arm.

“The same with the other one…that’s fine. How’s your shoulder?”

“It’s alright,” says the casualty, as he moves his head around to reach for a bit of grass in his helmet.

“Right, no pain in your neck?” asks L-Plate. At this point he hasn’t palpated the casualty’s neck at all.

“No,” replies the rider.

“Take your helmet off then.”

So if you’re not already screaming at the video it’s because one of three things have occurred:

  • You’re not trained in first aid in any way, and so this is lost on you
  • You’re trained in first aid and are hoping for a happy ending
  • You’re trained in first aid but didn’t get this far because of the horrendous mistakes that have already taken place.

If you’re still playing along, stay tuned because there’s loads more to come!

So, casualty is on his back on the floor and L-Plate, having done nothing to clear the casualty of C-Spine injury has just advised him to take his helmet off, which he does.

“Do it as carefully as you can,” L-Plate says, “because you never know.”

And he’s right. That’s exactly why you should never remove someone’s helmet unless it’s absolutely necessary. That’s not the case here. Asking the casualty to take his helmet off is putting a potential spinal injury at risk. If your alarm bells weren’t already working overtime, they should be now. But remember, this isn’t a first aider. He’s just another rider!

And yet…wait…hang on. L-Plate starts to do the right thing. He starts to expose the “kill zone” to look for injuries and he starts to describe what he sees. That’s not the talk of your average rider! What’s going on here?

He undoes the casualty’s leathers and then starts randomly poking him in the chest.

“I just want to check there’s no pain in your ribs or anything.”

It’s a fair comment, because pain only occurs when you’re naked.

At this point, someone who is able to demonstrate a level of common sense equivalent to a monkey scratching its arse suggests that maybe the casualty should remain still. L-Plate, 5 minutes into the video decides to get an event history. Good work dude! A good event history really helps to work out the mechanism of injury and establish what’s likely to be a concern.

At 5:07, L-Plate seems to appreciate the gravity of the situation. This guy has come around the corner and potentially bounced off fence poles. Bear in mind that his helmet’s already off by now…

So then L-Plate talks to the casualty about how if there was anything seriously wrong he’d be “sorting it out now.” He then immediately asks if anyone has a first aid kit. I’m not sure what he plans to do with it, since there are no signs of external haemorrhage and L-Plate hasn’t bothered to establish if there are any pelvic or limb injuries which might need splinting or anything.

So, the casualty starts to feel a bit more unwell. L-Plate starts asking questions.

L-Plate tells the casualty that raising his feet up “stops shock,” which is almost true. Raising a patient’s feet above the level of their heart encourages the blood to flow back towards the vital organs and certainly goes a long way to limit the effects of shock. It’s a good idea. The best way to do this is to get hold of the casualty’s feet and raise them yourself. Obviously before you go ahead and do that you should make sure that there are no injuries that would prevent you from being able to do that (such as a fractured femur, perhaps). That’s one of the reasons why a good secondary survey is important.

L-Plate still hasn’t declared any first aid knowledge, though I’m getting suspicious now. Maybe he watched an episode of Holby City or something. Either way, he knows that raising a patient’s legs is good for shock, so what does he do?

Well obviously he sits the guy up! It’s not like that’s the exact opposite of what he’s just said the required treatment is or anything.

“I can’t give you a drink or anything mate.”

Why not? Go for it! See if you can get a full set of fuck ups.

So then there’s some dicking around with the bike. Non-L-Plate asks how it is and if it’s ridable. L-Plate, quite rightly, says that there’s no way he could ride it because he could pass out at any time.

AND YET YOU SAT HIM UP!

So yeah, there’s a bunch of chatting and L-Plate talks about forces involved in the collision and so on. Then there’s talk about “last time” and how they were right next to the Ponderosa. I know the Ponderosa. I was there just a few weeks ago. It’s a popular spot for motorcyclists, and I can see why (I’ve been riding bikes for a few years now). I was disappointed to see just how many bikers rode like utter tits, though. It’s a bit of a digression, but I can’t say that I’m surprised that these chaps have been in a similar situation before. Anyway…

8 minutes into the video, 7 minutes after the crash, Non-L-Plate starts to look a bit unwell.

“Are you alright?” asks L-Plate, “winded?”

Um, you’re not going to suddenly be a bit winded 7 minutes after your accident. Something else is going on here fella.

Not content with having had his casualty remove his own helmet with no attempt to clear him of any C-Spine injury and then moved him(!) into exactly the wrong position for the treatment he was aiming for, L-Plate then encourages his casualty, whose condition appears to be worsening, to move around a bit more. What could possibly go wrong?!

While he’s (finally) at least encouraging him to move into a position similar to the one he should’ve had him in several minutes earlier, he’s still encouraging him to keep his head above the level of his heart, and he’s encouraging him to move himself rather than just picking up his legs for him.

Having got his casualty to move through 180º, L-Plate starts to talk about breakdown & recovery. At this point I’d just like to point something out…

We’re 8 minutes after the crash. The rider is complaining of pain & pins and needles in his right hand, pain in his abdomen and looks pretty unwell from time to time. L-Plate has talked about treating him for shock. Nobody has called an ambulance.

About 10 minutes in it occurs to them that they might want someone to call the emergency services, but collectively they decide to be stupid and pass up the opportunity.

But it’s the point at 11:30 that gets me. Someone with the first bloody clue about first aid turns up and takes control of the situation. L-Plate says, “I’ve done basic first aid because I’m basically first aid trained.”

Dear L-Plate, please, please, please get actually first aid trained. Everything you did was wrong.

Everything.

Why did his wrist hurt? He’d broken it. The adrenaline that you talked about was masking the pain.

Why did his abdomen hurt? Because he was bleeding internally. Yet you moved him.

As L-Plate goes on to explain, Non-L-Plate was air lifted to hospital. His internal bleeding was a ruptured spleen. Helimed costs quite a lot of money and is the sort of resource that is only despatched when it’s really considered necessary. L-Plate was more concerned about breakdown recovery.

You meant well, L-Plate, but you’re lucky Non-L-Plate is alive, and it certainly wasn’t because of any of your actions.

Oh, and you apparently hid your cameras from the police, but then you published a video of yourself doing 71mph on a single carriageway. Oops.

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