Do you / would you stop for an accident?

  1. So my dog starts limping tonight. This happens when the weather changes because she's got a little arthritis in her hips. She's out of her medicine. So, I think I'll just go up to the all night Super Center WalMart and get her some enteric-coated aspirin to get her by until Monday.

    I live out in the boonies, so over the meadow and through the woods, over the creek and down the hill watching for deer that like to jump out in front of cars during deer season.

    Next thing I know I see an approaching truck go into my lane coming up over the hill, over corrects, and flies through the air, clipping off a few trees, goes nose over tail, and finally comes to rest a couple hundred yards off the road.

    I didn't even think about it. I pulled off the road, put on my emergency flashers, grabbed my cellphone and started dialing 911 while I'm running to the truck. In the process of getting to the truck, I can see the guy slumped over and not moving, glass everywhere. Of course, since I was looking at the driver looking for signs of life while I'm running, I managed to fall when my foot landed on a rock. Of course, I can't fall on my good leg. I have to fall on my bad leg. Picked myself up, because I'm not feeling any pain, right?

    Get to the guy and start to do an assessment while I'm talking to the 911 dispatcher, trying to explain where I'm at on some country road without any kind of markers. I don't have a watch, so I tell the dispatcher to MARK at 30-seconds. She does. Respiratons 24. MARK at 30-seconds again. Pulse 40. He's unconscious. Can't see anything except superficial cuts from the glass. Skin color good.

    Holiday fixin's all around. A turkey, a smashed pie . . . must have had his groceries in the pickup bed, and just coming from the all night Super Center WalMart. A child's gift. Funny the things you notice. Since the truck flipped, and he's slumped with his head hanging, I have no idea if there's spinal cord injuries, so I can't move him, as long as I'm getting a pulse and respirations and good color, I think.

    Finally, in the distance, I hear sirens. Cops cars, ambulances, fire trucks all up and down the road. I talk to the highway Patrol and tell them what I saw. He says maybe I should let the paramedics look at my leg. What? Blood running into my shoe. Wonder when that happened? My jeans torn in both knees where I went over the barbed wire fence, he said. Yeah? There isn't a barbed wire fence. He looks at me kinda funny, and I see the barbed wire fence that I must've climbed over.

    No, I'm fine, I say. I'm a nurse, I'll just go home after I get some aspirin from WalMart and go home and bandage myself up. You're sure? Yeah, I'm fine. The paramedics are busy with the driver of the truck, and I don't see any reason to stick around, so the Highway Patrol says they'll call me if they need me. Takes my name and number, will call me to testify, if needed. Great. No good deed goes unpunished, I'm thinking.

    So, I get to WalMart, get the aspirin for the dog, and since my knee is kinda starting to hurt, get some Ibuprofen, too, for me.

    I'm now sitting on my couch will my leg elevated, the knee is swollen twice its normal size, hurts like hell, my scrapes and cuts have been bandaged and sanitized, and bits of glass and gravel picked out with sterile tweezers, nothing is broken . . . buy WHY did I have to fall on my bad leg? My leg's too swollen to get my brace on . . . have to go to the Dr. on Monday for a tetanus shot because I can't remember when I had one last . . .

    Drive carefully over the holidays, please. I just can't get that child's gift laying in the dirt surrounded by broken glass out of my mind.
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  2. 39 Comments

  3. by   CraftyLPN
    My thoughts are with you.....
    The other day when we had a snowstorm here, I had gotten gone off the road and got stuck in a ditch.No cell phne..trying to wave someone down...Well a guy in a pickup started to slow down to help, and in the process did a complete 360 and then hit a telephone pole...Thank god he was okay
  4. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I stopped once, but everything was pretty much under control. I was actually on my way home form work, and had all my garb on. Everyone was A&Ox3, and I was just about to start grabbing some vitals when an ambulance pulled up. I told the cops how I found everything, and then I left.

    Heather
  5. by   emily_mom
    The only time I see accidents are when the roads are really bad and we're in the middle of a torrential snow/ice storm. I have the county sheriff's # on my cell phone, and I always call them. But, I rarely stop. The risks of getting hit, my car getting hit, or me going into the ditch are just too great around here. If I saw a real accident (which I haven't, just ditch divers), I would stop, no matter what. You never know when you could be of help.

    Kristy
  6. by   JonRN
    You done good Youda. I always stop and try to help if the pro's aren't there, otherwise I stay outta the way. Helped a little girl with a broken arm once d/t a MVA, basically just reassurance to her and her mommie. Once a neighbor conked out on his morning walk with his wife, she was doing CPR when I arrived and was exhausted. We switched to 2-man until the medics arrived, the guy made out OK and is still alive. Makes me feel pretty good every time he waves at me.
  7. by   nursegoodguy
    Poor Youda!
    You did the right thing or the guy would still be slumped over out there...
    Why do people drive like that in the winter?
  8. by   renerian
    Sprained my ankle running to an accident once..............


    renerian
  9. by   Larry
    You did the right thing - but I must caution you - not all accidents are what they seem - you could have been raped or robbed.
  10. by   Lausana
    You did good Youda! Now he be able to give that child their gift Hope the swelling goes down in your knee...or I guess you can have Thanksgiving in bed!

    I'd definately stop, I was in an accident (though not as bad as that one) one night after leaving my boyfriend's in the country-I was scared to death-dark, foggy & late...damn deer Anyway, I wouldn't want anyone to be alone while waiting for the police/medics.
  11. by   BadBird
    Youda,

    You did a wonderful thing for that poor man. I sure do hope your knee heals soon. I stopped for a accident once, car flipped people trapped. The paramedics and ambulance were there in minutes. I don't think it is something we decide ahead of time, just react to the situation.
  12. by   Robin61970
    I would definitely stop if at all possible.......If I see that there are 4 or 5 cars stopped already and no one is hurt I will drive on, but if I witnessed anything or can be of any help....no hesitation.....my mom had this situation last night. Woman in front of her went through the intersection at a "green" light and got smacked by someone who ran a red coming the other way......mom jumped out checked on her....called 911 and gave a statement. She did dump my aunt's pie in the process, but aunt just scraped it out of the box,LOL
  13. by   Youda
    I would never make a good trauma nurse.
    It was after 05:00 when I finally got to sleep, kept seeing that truck flying through the air and flipping over. Kept thinking that if I'd been just 2 seconds farther down the road, we'd have hit head-on. Sheesh. I keep wondering what happened. Did he swerve to miss a deer? Heart attack? Guess I'll never know.

    Thanks to everyone. My knee is better, the swelling is down and it only hurts when I poke on it. If it doesn't get infected, I'll be fine. Several years ago while jogging, I did the same thing, fell on that knee . . . and I stubbornly refuse surgery . . .
    Last edit by Youda on Nov 28, '02
  14. by   cactus wren
    Way to go, Youda !!!!
    Makes you appreviate those hard working paramedics doesn`t it? I could never do what they do....Give me a nice warm,dry Er every time.
    I once stopped for accident in middle of summer, one person ejected, one in Pu with compound tib/fib fx., 2nd Pu with driver Tib/fib...sorta twins.....called 911, then ended up holding c-spine on ejected patient until amb. arrived.....i also ended up with 2nd. degree burns on both shins from kneeling on hot pavement.....Man was I ever glad to see that big white ambulance show up....with board and c-collar...
    The hazards of living out in the boonies ,I guess.
    Glad your knee is feeling better
    Remember...no good deed goes unpunished

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