PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Kerrigan McCarthy
 
Comments: 5
Article views: 2266
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Kerrigan McCarthy's badges.
 

Midmar Mile Paramedic response was 'inadequate'

19 February 2014, 12:02

I swam in the Midmar Mile family event on Saturday 8th Feburary, an event I have always enjoyed, and which contributes much to local tourism, I have no doubt. However, this year, post-event dialogue in the written press and social media has been acrimonious and charged following the drowning of Thabo van Staden - with accusations of apathetic response by the organisers.

As a medical doctor, I would like to add my contribution to the public domain, following my involvement and support of a resuscitation at the damside, in which I noted obvious deficiencies in crisis event planning, and appalling response by paramedics. This included landing the patient at an arbitrary damside location, failure of ambulance to answer the phone, or to reach the location timeously, or to have appropriate cardio-pulmonary resuscitation equipment. At no stage after the resuscitation was the family member notified or called for over the public address system, despite my attempts to inform security personnel.   I notified the Midmar Mile organisers of my concerns by email on 10th February, to which I received no reply. Today, I followed up my email with a telephone call. The administrator of the organisation expressed that the fuss about safety is unwarranted, as participants sign an indemnity form. She indicated that my email is on file, and has been forwarded to the Chair of the organisation. I informed the organisers of my intention to forward this email to the press.

Below is the text of the email I submitted to them in which I address my concerns. I do believe that the public should hold organisers of events such as these accountable to provide appropriate, well organised responses to medical misfortunes that are bound to take place at events of this size. While organisers have minimal control over the crises that take place during the event, they have every responsibility to address these and provide an appropriate first response.

Dr Kerrigan McCarthy MBBCh, FCPath (Micro)

From: Kerrigan McCarthy

Sent: 10 February 2014 07:41 PM

To: 'info@midmarmile.co.za'

Subject: Concern regarding safety at Midmar mile -

Dear Midmar organisers,

I’d like to bring to your attention a ‘rescue’ at the Midmar Dam that was conducted in a less than optimal manner - While I was setting up a picnic blanket and chairs with my friends on the waters edge about 500, east of the finish, in front of the midmar chalets,  the emergency services brought in a man who had been experiencing difficulty in the water, and laid him on the shore.  When I assessed the patient,  as I assisted the paramedic, it seemed he was having, or had experienced a myocardial infarction – he could barely talk and was experiencing ongoing chest pain. The subsequent management of this patient was less than optimal in the following way: -

1.            There was no sense of urgency the way the paramedics brought him to shore

2.            All paramedics who brought the patient to shore left a single paramedic in charge, and sauntered off – I’m not sure where – perhaps to call the ambulance?

3.            He was brought to shore at an arbitrary place, where the public was sitting, about 500m from the finish, and no where near any emergency services/tent, other paramedics

4.            When my friends and I tried to call an ambulance with the number the paramedic gave, the number was engaged.

5.            When a paramedic eventually arrived, he said that an ambulance was on its way, but apparently it could not make it thro the cars/people to get in

6.            When the ambulance arrived it did not have advanced life support, nor a defibrillator.

7.            The paramedics on duty could not tell me to which hospital they were planning to take the patient

8.            The patient himself could not remember his wife’s celphone number; a security personnel who arrived about 10 minutes after the patient had been brought ashore took the patients name and race number, and indicated that he would find the wife. But at no stage subsequently was any announcement made; neither could my friend, find the patient’s wife.

9.            The only paramedic who was engaging with the patient said that they could not take him straight to hospital, they’d have to assess him at the emergency tent first. Only about 10 minutes after the ambulance drove him off towards the race finish area, did we see the same ambulance making its way to the dam exit.  In total it had been about 30-40 minutes after he was taken off the water.

To my mind, the event covered a number of gaps in the emergency services at the event:

1.            There did not appear to be a plan for emergencies of this sort, or if there was, the emergency services in this rescue weren’t aware of it.

2.            Persons who are rescued from the water should be ‘landed’ at a designated place

3.            Shore teams should have a defibrillator/ and be familiar with advanced cardiac life support– myocardial infarctions are not uncommon at events of these size, especially where novices participate

4.            Ambulance should be parked at the side of the water, at this designated place.

5.            All support and security personnel should know the local hospitals, and specific details regarding capacity of local hospitals to deal with different kinds of emergencies.

6.            All these gaps caused delays in getting this patient off to a hospital. – these delays can cost patients their lives. In the case of an MI, time is critical.

On the positive side, the single paramedic who remained there did have asprin to put under the patient’s tongue, and competently took the patient’s blood pressure,  dripped the patient and was prepared and able to give him morphine, should it have become necessary. The patient’s name was x(omitted for confidentiality's sake) I am unsure of the spelling, or of his race number. I would very much like to know how he is – I hope he made it to hospital and received appropriate care.

I am also disappointed to hear that the family of the missing swimmer, Thabo van Straten, experienced emergency services as unsympathetic and unhelpful.

The event is most certainly fantastic, and I’m sure it takes an enormous amount of organisation. However, attention to these important details are absolutely essential.  The reality is that en event of this size is bound to have life-threatening emergencies, and plans need to be in place to take care of these in good time, and with appropriate expertise. 

Please feel free to call on my cel below should you require further information on the events described above.

Best Regards,

Kerrigan

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Irvin Whitecomb
Why are our fuel prices so high?

Can someone please explain why the petrol price is so high if the price of oil has dropped by over half of what it cost. Read more...

9 comments 1198 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

0 comments 93 views
Submitted by
Christelle Delport
Transcendence

I recently watched the movie, Transcendence, and I once again realized how far people will go to deny or destroy that what they don’t understand. Read more...

17 comments 1019 views
Submitted by
Nunu
Ban Hunting Now!

This is far too emotional an issue, it should be dealt with realistically. There are risks to conservation if hunting is banned ... like it or not. Read more...

18 comments 1602 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
The reality of a failed state

Hook line and sinker. That about sums it up for South Africa. We have been caught by the oldest trick in the book.  Read more...

6 comments 507 views
Submitted by
Andre Joubert
The Groenewald family I know

 Read more...

17 comments 338 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.