Unfortunately, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, yourself or your loved one could be involved in a dangerous and life threatening incident.
Do you know what would happen if this incident occurred in a remote or rural location, many miles away from the nearest trauma centre?
Scarily, this has been a reality for many people across Lincolnshire, but in some of these cases, LIVES has been able to make a difference.
At LIVES we’re privileged to have over 700 passionate and dedicated Community First Responders across Lincolnshire. They give up their time to attend serious 999 medical emergencies so that they can be there for people in their time of greatest need. These responders are based in their local communities, in some of the most remote and rural towns and villages across the county, so that they can get to the scene of a 999 emergencies within minutes.
What you might not know about LIVES is that we’re also really lucky to have a small number of highly trained and experienced critical care doctors, who also give up their valuable time for free to attend serious 999 emergencies in Lincolnshire, but what is a critical care doctor? Why are they important? And what do they do?
The term ‘critical care’ generally refers to taking over some of the functions of a patient so as to optimise their condition. A critical care doctor has trained in this area and has the specialist skills required in order to treat the patient in these circumstances. They attend the most serious emergencies, from road traffic collisions to traumatic falls and accidents.
A critical care doctor can essentially bring the hospital to the roadside, and while in some cases they might take longer than a responder to get to the scene, they can bring additional skills and equipment that the patient needs. This can included sedating the patient so that they can straighten broken legs or arms in cases where the broken bone is stopping normal blood flow, which in many instances can save limbs.
In even more serious cases, these doctors can put the patient into a medically-induced coma, which they may do to stop or slow down injuries to the brain. They can also perform surgical procedures such as emergency surgery to the chest for people with chest injuries, creating an emergency surgical airway for a patient with an obstructed airway.
In extreme situations, the critical care doctor could undertake surgical amputation of a limb to save the patient’s life, and they can even perform an emergency caesarean section for someone at the end of pregnancy who has suffered severe trauma and had a traumatic cardiac arrest to try and save both mother and baby.
These doctors are passionate about their profession, which shows through their willingness and commitment to continue this as a volunteer outside of standard working hours.
As with all volunteers at LIVES, their training and equipment is costly but is vital when an emergency takes place. Getting to a patient fast in a life-threatening situation is hugely important, but getting to the patient with the right skills, drugs and equipment can be just as valuable.