The 'London spirit'

Posted on
  • Moderators, please move if deemed inappropriate for 'Rider down'.

    Some people now appear to be using the hashtag '#londonspirit', which seems to be used widely mainly in tweets in relation to the 7/7 bombings, to include in 'the London spirit' the phenomenon of passers-by lifting vehicles off collision victims before the arrival of emergency services.

    It seems to have started owing to the actions of onlookers in lifting a bus off Antony Shields in Hoe Street, Walthamstow. That story attracted a lot of attention:

    https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/2686­06/

    A week and a half ago, there was this case:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/in­credible-moment-30-bystanders-lift-taxi-­off-woman-trapped-beneath-its-wheels-aft­er-lunchtime-crash-a2472081.html

    The first case of this kind that I remember was a case a few years ago in Spitalfields, in which it was a car that was lifted off:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/th­ey-saved-my-life-heroic-bystanders-lift-­car-off-trapped-cyclist-in-spitalfields-­8934583.html

    The fact that it was a much heavier bus in Antony Shields' case may have contributed to the reach of the story.

    Today, when a pedestrian was killed at Farringdon Road/Clerkenwell Road, sadly he later died of his injuries despite people rushing to his aid, including, apparently, a crew working on a building site who had a jack:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/cy­clist-crushed-under-double-decker-bus-in­-farringdon-a2917911.html

    I wonder if these actions are likely to make a significant difference to the extent of people's injuries trapped in such situations over time or whether they could ever cause harm.

  • Probably better placed in Members only or Misc/OT thread...

  • I thought it would be either General or here.

  • I can certainly think of situations where a large object causes catastrophic injury but at the same time prevents massive blood loss by remaining in place.
    Since loss of blood volume is a major factor in many deaths, frequently by causing brain injury that victims succumb to some time later, removing a vehicle without all the medical support required to treat the injuries is probably a bad idea.
    The chances of making a bad situation even worse with an unplanned lift of several tens of tons of vehicle are probably quite high as well.

  • This.

    Crush injuries / crush syndrome can mean that removing compression from a major muscle mass floods the body with the products of muscles breaking down, leading to massive renal failure and death.

  • Thinking of various rescue planning and training scenarios that I've had to put together the list of reasons for not intervening is pretty long:
    Further danger to casualty on several fronts
    Danger to rescuers
    Danger to bystanders

    A bunch of strangers having the knowledge, co-ordination, skills and control to improve a casualty's chances are slim, especially in London where in such a scenario the emergency services are not far away.

    Even amongst people who are trained to respond to specific disaster scenarios there is an urge to undo whatever has caused the incident. The trouble is taking a direct route back to normalcy doesn't undo the damage and is a very good way of making matters worse. Definitely a case of leave it to the professionals.

  • The Fire Brigade used an inflatable pillow to lift the bus of today's victim. The front of the new Routemaster bus is very low to the ground.


    1 Attachment

    • lift.jpg
  • My understanding of crush syndrome is that the longer someone is crushed, the more toxic substances accumulate.
    Relieving crushing will release this 'trash' into the circulation but there'll be less if pressure is relieved sooner. With any luck, the emergency services can get a liberated casualty to hospital sooner. Despite the risks, the emergency services will have to free the casualty anyway, though they will be best equipped to deal with any drop in blood pressure or bleeding that may occur.
    All in all, 'having a go' and helping free a casualty is likely to be more beneficial than doing nothing.
    But it's a fine balance.

  • The emphasis has shifted in recent years from extricating severely injured casualties as swiftly as possible in order that they’re on their way to hospital where they can receive the best help to providing quality care and stabilisation at the road side so that they are in the best shape before making their way to hospital.
    The rescue procedures that I had to organise would have involved casualties at the risk of suspension syndrome which is similar in terms of muscles releasing toxins. Priority 1 was safety of the public, 2 safety of the rescue team, 3 maintaining stability of the casualty - then treatment once they were secure. Time would be at a premium but it was stressed that we didn't compromise safety or stability needlessly. A couple of the 'London Spirit' rescues probably placed several people at much greater risk than they needed to be without necessarily benefiting the casualties.

    I've just done some reading. Let me adapt that last sentence.

    All of the 'London Spirit' rescues placed several people at much greater risk than acceptable and without benefitting the casualties.

  • Here's another case of people lifting a car off someone under it:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/sh­ocking-moment-father-is-crushed-under-ca­r-in-bus-crash-before-onlookers-rush-to-­his-rescue-a2958481.html

    I haven't watched the video, as I don't like watching this sort of thing, especially when there's a warning that it may be distressing. In this case, the victim appears to have been seriously injured. It's a story with a terrible impact, as he was caring for his wife and may now be unable to continue doing so.

  • I was under the impression that if there is a possibility of spinal injury the patient should not be moved until there is immediate danger to their life.

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview
About

The 'London spirit'

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick

Actions