Saturday, April 16, 2011

Break a leg

Just a quick story:

I can hear the screams through the thick crowd. I do my best to push and shove my way further into the large group of on lookers thats gathered. I continue following a path destruction thats all around me. I begin honing in on the screams until I reach the patient. He does not speak Arabic or English so non of us can communicate with him. However its safe to say he is saying some pretty vulgar things in Hindi. He is laying on the street supine and his leg is severely deformed and in a very unnatural position thats placed his foot next to his head. As he lay there screaming in pain he stairs at his deformed foot just inches from his face. However he is unable to move the extremity and his bones are so broken that there is no structure left to his leg. We feel for a pulse in his foot and of course there is none. The whole leg moves like a gummy worm and requires several of us to support it. 1 sharp piece of broken bone is starting to cut its way out the leg so we must move it very carefully. We can not transport him with his leg in this crazy position and with no pulse so we have to relocate it.

We give him the maximum start dose of morphine for pain that we can give and also give him another medication to sedate him so he will not be completely aware during the procedure. We carefully relocate the extremity to a neutral inline position and splint it. Its about this time the helicopter lands I send him off with the chopper crew and attend to the other patient who is dead. He lay there in the street surrounded by fruit and vegetables covered in blood. I place some electrodes on his body and run a quick flat line ecg rythem strip to attach to my report then cover the body with a blanket.

So what happened to these guys? Well from what I gathered someone possibly fell asleep at the wheel and drove there car into an open air street market hitting some fruit and vegetable stands killing the 1 man and injuring the other man with the broken leg.

1 comment:

  1. I always wait for your posts with excitement Mike. But on reading your posts I feel sad about the gruesome details of what you have encountered in the streets of Riyadh. In a sense, it gives us readers a realization how precious this life has been as a gift. Thank you Mike and stay safe!