alert VoICE – Rishinathan – Amenity Lifeline Emergency Response Team

alert VoICE – Rishinathan

Incident Information

VoICE Name()- Rishinathan

VoICE ID() - ALTN000130RS/2019

Incident Handled On () - 09-10-2019

Location ()- Trichy

A few days ago, I was buying milk from a shop nearby and returning home. A construction site near the shop and a water carrier lorry was standing in front of it. While crossing the way, I turned back to check out the work going on and noticed a few ppl stand in a circle with a man leaning against the knee of the person who stood against the wall. I just realized it's an emergency. Swiftly parking my vehicle, I rushed towards the scene. As I went near, I could see streams of blood covering the head of the victim. It was a deep and long v-shaped cut covering the forehead going as deep as his brain. My heart started pounding hard, and I started asking did anyone call for an ambulance. It was already called for, and others stood there blank and tensed, not knowing what to do. I saw the victim's eyes drooping, slowly going unconscious, heavily breathing via mouth with his nose and mouth almost clogged with blood, sputum, and saliva. I told everyone I could help and not be tensed as I had been trained in first aid.

Meanwhile, I realized someone was called for water (as usual), and I stopped them that it shouldn't be done. I asked them to move away and called for two volunteers for help. All I could remember was the recovery position. By the time I reached the victim, the blood flow has already stopped, and by subconscious thinking, I wasn't ready to touch his brain to stop the bleeding. All I wanted was for him to keep breathing, at least because if he keeps breathing, his heart is pumping. I asked them for help to make him lay down. Slowly the gap between his breath increased, and with each second, I could hear my heart racing faster. All I could hear in my head is, oh my god, please, please, oh my god. It was a miracle that I could put him in a recovery position in one attempt with so much going on in the scene and my head, thanks to all the voice programs I volunteered during my volunteering period in the alert. When I finally tried to move his head to open up the airway, he gasped hard to breathe. The voice of Karthi sir echoed in my head, don't panic. You are doing the right thing. I tried to hold his head by chin lift. But he was breathing through his mouth, and I had to touch his head. I tried hard to keep him breathing. All I could hear in my head, oh my god, please, oh my god. His breathing gap keeps increasing with every gasp volume increasing. In the process of trying to hold his head and chin-up, I realized I touched his wound (probably the brain). My mind shouted, oh shit. The adrenaline pumping in my stomach made me breathe heavily and fast. In a panic, I was looking around with so many thoughts running inside my head, what should I do, wat should I do. People started slowly gathering, but no one disturbed the scene. I wanted to check his vitals as he could breathe now and searched for the pulse in his neck. The aim was to know if his pulse is going too low so that I can give CPR. I realized in the recovery position. It was tough to locate the vein. I couldn't find a pulse anywhere. I was trying desperately everywhere - behind ear, neck, wrist, even chest. I remembered my words during voice training. It will be tough to check pulse if you are tensed, and even if you find you can't be sure if it's the victim's pulse and not yours. My heartbeat got heavy. I was praying inside my head, oh god, please keep breathing, please, and he gasped with a loud noise, and I could see so much water and blood and sputum slowly flowing out of his mouth and nose. Slowly a noise arrived on the scene. Finally, the ambulance. I repeated in my head, slowly whispering, oh god, please keep breathing, keep breathing, and he gasped again. The ambulance came, and a stretcher was brought to the scene. We rolled him, and I made him lay in a recovery position. Every time he was moved, I made sure to hold his head to avoid spine injury. The ambulance swiftly went, and my shivering didn't stop for another 5 mins. Two ppl ran from the scene to me, asking whether I was a doctor. I remembered the posts by our voice graduates in the group about praising and asking about them after the scene. I was so panic-struck I just told them no, I am not a doctor, and I just had training and took the bike to leave the scene. One person asked for my number, I just gave, thinking it can serve another emergency in the future, and I left the scene home. The visuals of the deep wound and the victim gasping for every breath ran in my head several times. As I live alone for work purposes, I couldn't help it. I switched on my laptop, took some water, and played a movie to help myself. It took me 2 hrs to come out of the effect. After that, I got a phone call from the person from the scene. He told, the doctor told us he wouldn't be able to save him and to inform his relatives. My heart broke hearing the news, and again his last moments played in my head. I called someone in our alert fraternity to talk. He told me he handled two head injury cases similar to mine yesterday, and he doesn't know their status. It took me a whole day to come out of it, and I realized many things from the incident.

I am narrating an incident here with all details and few things I realized and learned from it. The narration may belong as it affected me emotionally. You can very well skip to the last to just read the inference. I am sharing this to make us a more powerful and better Voice.

1. It takes two full days to learn the VoICE program. But It takes a lot more than to become one.
2. You can be an emotional person or a solid and calm-minded person. Still, you can help the scene, but it's purely your choice. If you feel it's beyond your ability, you can do as much as possible. You don't have to feel guilty. Ultimately the aim of learning is not to become a doctor. At least you shouldn't be a spectator.
3. One can never know when an emergency can happen. You may not carry the kit given to you all the time. But remember, the skill is the kit you have, and even with bare hands, you can help. Don't hesitate to take a step towards the incident.
4. Take one or 2 seconds to decide your steps first. It can be a very high emergency, but doing things in the wrong order (like me checking vitals after recovery position) will only lead to more complications and panic for you. You can take those few seconds to talk to yourself inside your head about what is to be done.
5. If you are arriving in the middle of an incident, please reassure if an ambulance was called. Unless it's done, ultimately, our work is of no use.
6. If you are affected by the incident, don't hesitate to talk to other voices or our mentors in an ALERT. They can help you.
7. I would advise you not to share your mobile number if you think you will be affected by the negative news from the hospital about the victim. You will be better hoping that he would have been saved and thoughts that you helped the victim till the ambulance arrived.
8. No one will remember everything thought in the voice program forever. Never hesitate to revise and revisit the ALERT office to get revised. You can even refresh by just volunteering for a voice.
9. Trust me, I have seen someone who teaches voice daily struggling and panicking to put the victim in the recovery position. It's natural to forget when you panic. And it takes time to get the calmness to handle severe emergencies.
10. Be alert of your surrounding. You might overlook an incident nearby.
11. Last but not least, If you feel you were the only one who knew what to do, it means we need a lot of voice from your area. Wherever you may be. Talk to ppl in alert and help them conduct training in your area. Just think, If only you are there to help, then who will help you if you the victim !!

By Rishinathan