Monday, 26 April 2010

CFR x2


He was just on his way to work, this Community First Responder. He couldn't keep going, not when he can see the cyclist lying there, his bike a tangled wreck beside him. Sure, this isn't what he would normally deal with; cardiac arrests are his usual callout. But he'll be able to do something, before the ambulance arrives.

He stops his car and jumps out. His car is protecting him and the casualty, so that's sorted. He bends down to assess the chap, and realises that this one is a bad one. He is not moving, has no pulse and is not breathing. He quickly checks to make sure that an ambulance is on the way, and then proceeds to make use of the bystanders who have also stopped, getting a team together to turn him carefully onto his back, still keeping the spine immobilised, before starting chest compressions and breathing for him.

A few minutes later, the ambulance arrives, and he stands, to make way for the experts. They know a useful resource when they see one, however, and he continues with CPR, while the crew get their lines and monitors attached.

A few minutes after that, the BASICS doctor arrives. Once again, the CFR feels the need to move out of the way, and, once again, is encouraged to continue helping. He works around the "experts" as the patient is intubated, as the chest wall is incised, to ensure that there is no collapsed lung. And all the while, the patient receives expert CPR.

"Hello, I'm a Consultant Anaesthetist, can I help?" A curt "No thanks" sends him away, as the team of five men and women struggle in vain to save the young man's life.

A little later, and the team debrief at the side of the road, the shrouded body of the cyclist a silent reminder of what, this time, had been the result of their endeavours. Once again, the CFR tries to walk away, to leave the experts to their debrief, and, once agin, he is pulled back. The team is incomplete without him.

Debrief over, handshakes all round, he gets into his car and drives to work. be continued...


  1. "team of five"
    CFR = 1
    Crew = 2
    BASCICs Doc= 1
    TOTAL = 4

    Who was number 5?

  2. Ross, you eagle-eyed one! Yes, there was also a Station Manager there, co-ordinating the emergency response at scene.

  3. Absolutely loving your writing BASICs Doc!

    Would really like to get involved with BASICs as a Med Student. From the BASICs website it seems like you have a good setup for giving Med Students pre-hospital experience down in England. Doesn't seem that there's much of a formal set up for BASICs Scotland. I'll have to get investigating!

    And this "To be continued" has certainly got me intrigued. Surely the story finishes here! And they say 24 has cliffhangers :)

    All the best and keep up the good work!

  4. Again adding how much I value reading this blog, it is inspiring.

    Just to reply to Paul, there is a medical student committee as part of BASICS and you should contact them to find out who the representative is from your medical school. If you do not have one then you may be able to be the rep and come to the annual BASICS meetings.

    Feel free to contact BASICS to find out. There was a small group of medical students at the last AGM.

    I even sat next to the famous RRD, but have yet to introduce myself!

    All the best,


  5. Thanks RRD!

    Also to reply to Paul, I was at the BASICS Scotland AGM last summer (between my first and second years of medical school) and everyone was really nice, but I didn't speak to anyone else who was a med student. In fact I would be confidant in saying I was the youngest person there. I did speak to a student nurse, but he was a bit older. I shall also investigate what the setup is for medical students up here. I know there's nothing formal at my medical school, but there are a couple of BASICS docs who work from my hospital, I have been trying to get in contact with them without much success.

  6. Thanks to Cosmo and Ross.

    Also, what uni are you at Ross, if you don't mind me asking? I'm starting at Glasgow this September :D

  7. @Paul

    I'm at Aberdeen uni.

  8. @Paul

    I'm a medical student at Glasgow and as far as I know, there's nothing BASICS-based. However, in 2nd year there is an SSM which gives the opportunity to spend time with SAS working shifts etc so that's something for you.

    Also, maybe looking to the future but nothing to stop you doing something pre-hospital based for your elective. On Cosmo's advice, have just emailed BASICS trying to find out who our rep is.

    Hopefully see you next year ;)

  9. Ah nice one BK. The SAS SSC sounds good....I'll keep that in mind!