Sunday, 10 July 2011


The car is on its roof, having collided with another vehicle and gone off the road, onto a tree. Three youngsters are lying on the ground around the car, one trapped by his legs, all shouting out, but it is the fourth that holds all our attention. He is quiet and almost still, perhaps a flicker of one arm, trapped by the wreckage and the tree.

We can't get to him. His left arm is accessible, and a paramedic has already cannulated him. His head is pressed against the door, and we can't get to his airway. The dashboard has come forward, and is tight against his chest. We watch his chest rise and fall, slower and slower. There is no way to get him out. We will need to roll the car over if we have any chance at all to extricate him, and we can't do that at the moment, because of the chap whose legs are still entwined in the wreckage.

There is nothing we can do, except watch.

His breathing slows.



  1. Damn. That feeling, that despite all the training, all the knowledge, all the skills, there's just nothing you can do.

  2. Oh, gods. I'm sorry - sounds like a particularly bad one.

    Remember to be kind to yourself.