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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Doctors gave men life-saving treatment at scene of road crash

Two men seriously hurt in a dramatic crash on one of Cumbria’s busiest roads were given life-saving treatment by doctors at the roadside.

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Dr Theo Weston: ‘Living in such a rural part of the country, it is a must. It would be a tragedy if we ever lost the aircraft’

The men were in a Land Rover Freelander which smashed into the wall of the Llama Karma Kafe on the A66 east of Penrith early on Sunday evening.

They were found unconscious in the badly smashed vehicle – and both were lucky enough to be treated by some of the county’s team of volunteer doctors who believe in bringing clinical accident and emergency skills directly to the patient at the roadside.

The first doctor on the scene was Theo Weston, from the Penrith Beep Fund, who worked alongside a paramedic.

He was quickly joined by Caldbeck based Dr Phil Spencer, who works with a similar scheme in Allerdale.

Dr Weston explained that as a qualified trauma specialist he was able to administer to the driver a general anaesthetic – recognised as the best way to stabilise patients with a serious head injury.

The procedure can help prevent potentially deadly and damaging brain swelling.

Dr Weston said: “It was relatively straight forward to extricate the passenger because he wasn’t that badly trapped, though he was still unconscious. The driver took a little longer to get out.

“We gave treatment to the first guy who was relatively stable and starting to come round but the driver was still deeply unconscious.

“He had multiple injuries, including significant head and chest injuries. We were at the scene within ten minutes and had performed the treatment within half an hour.”

The procedure carried out on the driver was almost certainly life-saving, said the doctor, who has long advocated the model of care that brings doctors to patients at crash and accident scenes so that vital treatment can begin as soon as possible.

Such advanced trauma care would otherwise have to wait until the patient reaches hospital, which in an area like Cumbria can take some considerable time, significantly increasing the risk of long term complications.

Cumbria police confirmed yesterday that the driver of the Land Rover was still in intensive care at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary while the passenger, who suffered a neck injury, was in intensive care at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough. Both were critical but stable.

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