So I had my very first trauma call 14 days after starting at my rescue squad. In those 14 days as a 3rd member I had worked 3 full codes with no saves and was wondering if this is really where I needed to be. This was our 1st call of the day and it was dispatched as an MVA with pedestrian struck, a minute later dispatch said be advised pt is a 3yr old male, as you could imagine the race was on.
As we were coming down the interstate there was probably 2 miles of backed up traffic and when we arrived on scene there was no less then 30 people standing around, it was complete chaos. There were three cars involved and 6 people, the little boy was struck and thrown 15 feet into an embankment. When we arrived the boy was completely covered in blood. We couldn’t even tell what color he was the only color you could see was a scarlet red aside from a small tuft of golden blonde hair behind his ear.
There was a nurse on scene who had placed a dressing to his head to stop the bleeding. When my partner arrived she lifted the dressing to assess the injury, when she did it exposed a laceration from temple to temple and his skull looked like a spider web. When we arrived he was unconscious he looked so peaceful, aside from the obvious injury, he was breathing normally his vital signs were good and he appeared to be sleeping. After a minute assessing what was going on I went to grab the Pedi board.
In the literal 3 minutes it took for us to secure him to the board there were three IVs placed and he was being moved to ambulance, he was off scene and at the hospital in less than 7 minutes. He was eventually haloed to our Trauma Center and made it with no significant injury. The way that his skull had shattered allowed for his brain to swell without having resistance. He was in the local children’s hospital for five days before he was sent home completely healthy with no regression in his mental development.
When we were on scene they informed us that it was his 3rd birthday and they were on the way to his birthday party when the SUV that had his grandparents and parents in it broke down so they had a family member come pick them up in his truck. The gentleman who caused the wreck had a diabetic episode and passed out so when he hit the back of the family members truck it pushed the truck into the SUV that was broke down.
The grandfather was standing in front of the SUV so it ran over him. The truck that caused the accident then hit the side of the family members truck which make it circle around. The little boy and his dad were walking beside the car so it threw them into the embankment. The little boys father was also hit by the car but sustained only a minor head injury. Even though the grandfather was hit by his own car they happen to be straddling a ditch so whenever it hit him it knocked him out but he laid in the ditch and he sustained no major injuries.
The cousin who came to pick up the family was sitting in his truck whenever it was hit, he only had minor injuries to his knees and burns from the air bags. The man who blacked out was crushed. Whenever I climbed in the truck to hold c-spine and get information there was less than 4 inches from the dash and the back of his seat. He hit the other cars and the embankment so hard that it broke the mounts to his seat and pushed him into the bench in the back of the cab.
When I approached the truck to assess the patient he was completely alert and oriented, I will never forget that mans screams. I sat in the truck with him for over an hour while they were extracting him. He begged me to not leave him and to get him out. Every move they made moved the dash so ever jolt was followed by an exclamation of pain. When they were finally able to get him freed they applied a KED so they could remove him. Whenever they went to pick him up his legs dropped. It look like we were trying to pick up melted jello, he was flown from the scene.
To this day I still have splinters of glass in my arms from practically laying in the crumpled truck with him, I never found out if he made it. 2 years later I still see their faces but that day made me, after I got in my truck I cried for an hour deciding if this was for me and the more I thought about leaving the more my heart hurt. I will never forget their faces or those of the people that we were not able to get back but I have learned that is just part of it.
– Story written by an anonymous first responder