My Life, Their Lives: saving lives at the roadside
Saturday, 4 April 2009
This is getting silly! I am sitting in Pizzas 'R Us with Mrs RRD and the little ones tonight. I'm just tucking into my pizza with goat's cheese and caramelised onions, when I see a man being supported on both sides. He doesn't look great, shuffling along beside my chair. As his eyes roll up and his knees start to buckle, I decide pizza would have to wait. I jump up, grab the chap under his arms and get him into my chair. Then I get one of the waiters to help me carry the chair and, by now moribund, patient to the door of the restaurant. I make sure the chair is tipped back as much as possible, but by the time we go a few steps he is completely unresponsive and we lower him to the floor. I open his airway - almost no resps, and very difficult to feel a pulse. Fortunately, within a few seconds his pulse returns and he makes a few gasping breaths. I get the manager to call for an ambulance, then speak to Control, to give them some more information. 5 minutes later the FRV arrives, and the man is already much better, sitting in a chair. I hand over to him, and sit back down with my family. My pizza is retrieved from the oven, where it had been kept warm, and I finish my meal.
I am a BASICS Doctor. I am one of a select group of doctors who give up their time to provide medical care at the roadside. My son has nagged me to put some more details in, so you can blame him.
I am married, and we have 5 kids. My wife is a photographer, and I'm only occasionally jealous of what she does! Our eldest wants to be a doctor. I'm trying to persuade him to find a proper career. The only problem with that is he sees how much I enjoy what I do.
Our daughter, second in line, is the artist of the family. She will be VERY famous when she is older, I have no doubt.
Our younger three boys are, fortunately, too young to have to worry about careers - much more interested in TV and computer games than anything else - ah, the joys of youth!!
I am an A&E Consultant of a fairly large District General Hospital. This helps me keep up my trauma skills, as we are very close to both the M1 and the M25.