Extremely poor weather conditions nearly prevented an air ambulance from reaching a young trauma patient. Andy Hughes from The Journal reported that a medical helicopter was recently summoned to the scene of a hit-and-run involving a young girl in Throckley, a village in North East England. The ambulance had to battle voracious wind gusts to reach the scene of the accident. Luckily, the helicopter was able to reach her in time.
The girl had reportedly just been walking on the sidewalk when the driver of the vehicle hit her and continued on his or her way. As the girl had experienced injury to her head as a result of the accident, an air ambulance was called to get her to the hospital as soon as possible.
“With any serious head injury it is essential that the patient is seen as soon as possible and put asleep. The fact that she was seen so quickly definitely could have saved her life,” said one of the paramedics from Great North Air Ambulance, which covers 8,000 square miles of the United Kingdom.
According to The Journal, the wind was so intense that day that if it had been just a little stronger the air ambulance team would have been unable to come to the girl’s aid. Keep in mind that helicopter pilots, even on air ambulances, regularly deal with strong winds. Of course, in the case of an air ambulance – especially an air ambulance carrying a patient who has suffered a head injury – a smooth ride is of exceptional importance.
As thankful as we can be that the girl is in stable condition, this story includes some truly despicable elements – the kind we hate to have to write about. What kind of human being can cause such serious injuries to a child, then simply drive away from the scene. What reason would explain – satisfactorily – the driver’s behavior in this incident?
The Recent “Hit and Run” Incident in China
This story came out merely a day after another seemingly implausible news story, where a hit-and-run driver struck a 2-year old girl in China. In that story – unbelievably – a closed circuit video camera recorded eighteen people seeing the 2-year-old bleeding profusely in the road, acknowledging the presence of the hemorrhaging child, then continuing on their way. After 18 passers-by failed to so much as move the girl out of the street or attempt to divert oncoming traffic, it’s a 58 year old street-cleaner, named Chen Xiamei, who frantically drops a bag of refuse and comes to the aid of the 2-year-old child bleeding in the middle of the street, crying for her mother.
Miraculously, after being crushed twice by the driver of the van, the poor girl is still alive, in intensive care. She is reported to be in critical condition. The incident – particularly the pedestrians ignoring the injured child as blood spills into the gutter – has set off a huge firestorm about what some call an increasingly “heartless” China. Some point to a draconian law in China that has, in the past, resulted in “Good Samaritans” being forced to pay for the compensation of the people they assist.
Regardless, who could ignore the victim in this latest incident? According to the closed-circuit video,approximately eighteen people — at least.
Meanwhile, in Canada, a man reportedly hit five cyclists on the side of the road in the middle of a bright, sunny day, and continued driving home. He claimed that he didn’t realize he hit the five cyclists, thinking instead that he had hit a small post, despite the fact that he could hear the air ambulance arriving at the accident scene from his nearby house. To the man’s credit, once he finally put the events together, however long it took, he turned himself in. This fact alone immediately sets him apart from most people who hit and run.
In unfortunate situations like a hit and run, or any situation where critical care or trauma-level care is needed while in medical transport, calling upon the highly-trained men and women who make up air ambulance teams is often a logical choice. Even in the event that a critical care patient does not require emergency medical transport, but rather the highest level of care and comfort while en route to an advanced care hospital, chartering an air ambulance is often the most expedient way to get the patient to the advanced care he or she requires.
Have you ever known someone who was a victim of a hit and run or similar accident and was transported by an air medical team? Let us know your own stories in the comments below.