Posts Tagged ‘child safety’

This week has been a bad one. Once again bringing to the forefront child safety in cars, a subject which, unfortunately, appears NEVER to end.

Starting off with a minibus taxi rolling, sending all the occupants flying out the vehicle, initially killing  a 6 month old little girl. Lying just 10 m away, sprawls an 18 month old girl, barely alive, hanging to the last of her breath… I managed to stabilize as best as we could, then sent her to hospital, where sadly she died…

This is a contentious issue in that, while I’ve been a huge advocate for car seats in private vehicles, here we have another problem. Public transportation offers absolute no option for child safety for their passengers… and in the current economic climate, majority of the people utilizing these methods to get to work, take their children with them to drop off at a daycare center, nursery school or wherever. These taxi, transport, legally, 16 passengers, in reality, up to 30… and offer absolute no protection for the little ones.

THEN, last night I went out to a horrific accident… Family driving back home, had a head on collision with on of these taxi’s… massive impact, all occupants were injured.  But relatively minor in comparison, and why? because THEY of course were wearing seat belts!

The impact severe, but other occupants relatively uninjured, proving effectiveness of seatbelts

But the worst off was the little 4 year old girl, who, had the utmost and innocent trust in her mother and father to take care of her…

She was standing in-between the driver and passenger seat on impact, her body was flung forward with a huge force, slamming her beautiful body into the dashboard,  cracking her skull, snapping her neck, rupturing her organs and breaking her little bones!

have a look at the back seat: NO car seat, and intact shell..children would’ve been safe

Despite very aggressive resuscitation,…She will NEVER know what it will be like to learn to read and write, she will NEVER say “I love you ” to her mom and dad again, NEVER get to play in the garden with her dolls, NEVER go to “big school”, NEVER have her first kiss, NEVER have her first boyfriend, and NEVER have the opportunity to make a difference in this sick, cruel world of ours.

and why is that…because despite aggressive resuscitation efforts, this beautiful 4 year old girl died… in front of me…and while my 4 year old daughter sleeps at home…and I cannot help but feel this enormous loss that these parents will feel when we tell them the news. And what do we tell them?

simple….Your daughter is dead… because

YOU didn’t have a car seat.

YOU didn’t  keep her safe.

…I am tired!

I have been in this depressing and emotional career for 16 years… and I am so tired of seeing innocent little children dying because the very people who they trust, literally with their lives, FAIL them. And its always the same…

I drive safely    REALLY? What about the other idiots on the road

It wont happen to me: HMM: thats what thousands of distraught families thought before I tell them they killed their children.

so, I go home after this, walk into my daughters bedroom, and I gave her a big kiss on the forehead, I tell her that I love her so much, and  grateful she is in my life,  and thank God that I have a car seat, and that since the day she first left the hospital at birth, she sat in one… and NEVER has sat in the car without one. because, I love her, and I am responsible for her.

I only wish, that all these so-called parents out there take heed… IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!

So for the love of your creation, PLEASE, use car seats!

Be warned, this is a rant….We seem to go through these stages of not seeing paediatric trauma, and then, BOOM, we get hit with it all at once.

Last weekend I went out to a MVA (Motor vehicle accident) two cars had a high speed head-on-collision, and then another car smashed into them.I haven’t been on a case like this one in a long time. 3 cars with multiple entrapments, 8 Priority 1 (Critical) patients inside them, 3 of them children ranging from 4 – 9 years old. The kiddies were in the vehicle that smashed in from behind, and then rolled off the road. Both driver and passenger were serious, and so were the kids. I found them in the well between the back seat and the front seats. All 3 sustained serious injuries from the severe mechanism. Now, would they have been injured if they were restrained? Yes they would have been, but so severe? I highly doubt it. You see, seat belts are designed to restrain the body in moment of impact and subsequent inertia forces that act on the body. Without restraints, the bodies fly around, crashing into all objects in the vehicle, at forces equivillant to 10 times the child’s body weight.  If only the parents had restrained them…but NOOO, IT WONT HAPPEN TO ME! being the usual response. “I drive safely”-yeah, you probably do, but the other idiots on the road don’t.

All 3 kids were taken to the best facility, and are currently fighting for their little lives.

Then today, I went out to a little 4 year old girl, that was walking with her nanny back home from the park, when she saw her mommy arrive home. So she let go of the nanny’s hand and ran across the road. A quiet neighborhood road, where mostly families drive. However this time, an underage unlicensed driver, in a suped up car, came flying down the road, and hit this beautiful little girl who was excited to see her mommy.

He stopped 100m from where he changed the lives are so many people.There was no pulse on this little one, so pale and lifeless. My team and I actively resuscitated this little girl, in the middle of the road, with mommy and her daddy watching on, the irresponsible driver being arrested, with all the passion we had, and breathed a huge sigh when we got the pulse back. She was taken to the surgeons to continue the miracle work, but my heart bleeds so much for these parents. Prognosis? I don’t know…

But then, as i stop at our usual watering hole, I sit down, and this car stops next to us, and a woman gets out the car. I look up, and see a little boy of about 3 standing on the front seat. Car seat in the back… I cracked! I have to admit, i finally cracked!

I walked up to this woman, and asked her if she she actually loved her child, if she honestly believed she was a responsible parent. I told her what we experience all the time, and with tears in my eyes, I told her that if she didn’t use the car seat, which clearly is the best invention in a 100 years, then it would be  yet again ME coming out and telling yet another parent that they had killed/maimed their own child. She said to me she didn’t see what the big deal was, and walked away.

When will people ever learn? I don’t think they ever will. To all the parents, guardians and minders that are out there… be warned, it WILL happen to you. And when it does, I will be there, or someone like me, will be there, to try and save yet another innocent child because thats just what we do. I often wonder why I chose this profession, why I choose to continue in this emotional and debilitating career and despite all I see, despite the agony I experience each and every time, I will continue to do this, because these little ones need someone to fight for them, to try to save them, to try to give their loved ones hope, and to try to give them a future.

This weekend has so far given me  a wide range of cases, some of which i see everyday, and others I would rather never see again. Motor vehicle accidents,  drunken drivers, a house fire and babies dying.

The house fire, starting in the garage and spreading, luckily not gutting the house.

Two cases that really affected me this weekend were the two 5 month old babies that died in front of me…

The first one was completely avoidable. Why? Because I again highlight the need for car seats. Mom and dad were driving home from having dinner with friends, with their 5 month old baby boy asleep on mom’s lap. A suspected drunk driver, we suspected, the cops suspected and so he was arrested under said suspicion, skipped a red robot and smashed into the driver’s side of the family.  Mom and dad were not injured due to their efficient use of seatbelts. This beautiful, innocent baby boy, who had a future of probably grand and awesome things, died after his head hit the dashboard after being flung out of mom’s arms due to the massive centrifugal forces involved in accidents.  How people think they can hold onto their children in an accident is beyond me. The forces involved are just too large.

Then we have the little 5 month old baby girl that drowned on formula. Or so we think. What we were told, is that she choked while drinking her bottle, and stopped breathing. With my hands encircled around this beautiful baby girl, compressing her chest, massaging her little heart with my thumbs, squeezing the bag supplying precious oxygen to her lungs, hoping beyond hope that her heart gives a kick, and starts again, watching all the crew working tirelessly to save her, i couldn’t help wondering what she would have grown up to be.  Would she be a teacher, a doctor, or nurse? Maybe a shop keeper, reporter or even a politician? We will never know… Her life slipped away, and she died, leaving a stricken and distraught mother and very sombre emergency crew…

Car seat?

Posted: June 22, 2010 in medical
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Over the past few blogs, I have highlighted the need for car seats and seat belts, specifically for what WILL happen if you dont secure your children.

Then you get the other side of the story, the happy side…

Picture this… you are driving home from the shops, a young mother, with your baby boy of 10 months in your car. You consider yourself a responsible person, and seeing as you love your child so much you, despite all the screams and ranting on the odd occasion, secure your precious bundle in a car seat. You stop at a robot, and the person behind you, not concentrating, crashes into the back of your car.

You were wearing your seat belt too. Your car, completely wrecked… YOU? not injured… your little miracle? not injured

To you “mom”, I salute you!

… and I can honestly say that yesterday I had the worst case I’ve ever been to.

I arrived at the scene of an accident, to find a car had crashed into a tree at high speed. The car was absolutely trashed, bonnet indistinguishable from the cab.
I was informed that the car was travelling down the road and a child ran out in front, so the driver swerved, mounted the pavement and smashed into the tree.
i approached the vehicle, with the bystanders screaming at me that the “child” is very bad. I looked inside to find an elderly lady, covered in blood, sitting behind the drivers seat. Over her lap and half draped in the passenger well lay a 5 year old girl, completely limp and lifeless, a large gaping laceration across her forehead spilling precious blood. I climbed inside and made a quick assessment, and with the help of the Flying Squad members, i emergency extricated her out. I started active resuscitation, Iv therapy and drug therapy by the time an ambulance arrived.
i got the pulse back and raced to my hospital, where the Ct scan showed an the true extent of the injuries… she died later that night with her family sitting by her side!
why oh why do people continuesly drive with children UNRESTRAINED in cars????????

Civilized people have…

Posted: October 14, 2009 in medical
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respect for life, specifically family and even more so their own children. Savages have no respect whatsoever, they do not value life, nor do they have any remorse.

Yesterday I responded to a case that deeply disturbed me. We received info that someone was strangling a child, when I arrived i was informed that the people involved had been arrested. Just then I received a call to go to the police station as the child was unconscious.
Arriving there, i found a 4 month old baby, unconscious and clearly critical.
The father had allegedly strangled this baby girl, then thrown her onto the concrete ground.
After stabilizing her, we airlifted her to hospital where she is in a very critical condition.
HER OWN FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a very emotional case for all.
On a positive note, my 14 year old patient, B, that was knocked off his bicycle more than a month ago is doing very well. He is still in ICU with a massive head injury, but recovering well, far beyond expectations. This case really affected me, i visit him every day, and from a 0 prognosis to his current condition, it clearly must be a miracle. Even the neurosurgeon and Intensivist are surpriesd at his recovery.
remember “Mousy Blondy” J, (the little girl who I airlifted after her horrific car crash)… she also should not have survived, I received an sms from her surviving family saying she is back in Durban and doing very well, in fact she is back at play school.
There are times I really hate my job, and there are those few cases that make it seem all worth it.
B and J, you two are very special kids, for both your families and to me, and I wish you all the best in your difficult recovery. The most important thing…
You are alive!

mousy blondy

Posted: July 1, 2009 in medical
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a beautiful little girl… just turned three years old…mousy blonde hair…baby blue penetrating eyes…soft unblemished skin. Wearing a pretty dress, stockings and jacket. Climbed in her uncles carto go on a shopping trip.
4 hours later she lay in bed, tube in place, ventilator oscillating up and down, up and down, brain continually swelling with the increasing intercranial pressure building up from all the bleeds. Her equally stunning 8 year old sister, and two other family members lyng in a mortuary van. Now in ICU under the best care possible, and all we can do is pray, and pray and pray.
I don’t often cry on scenes, this one, I sat after she got to ICU and unashamably cried watching her. May the Great Architect be with her and her remaining family.