Volunteer of the week at rollover crash
Dr David Gaunt of BASICS London spent his Friday the 13th attending a 22 year old passenger of a car that left the road in Hemel Hempstead and rolled over. The roof peeled back and he was ejected. He had life threatening internal injuries, and multiple fractures, some open.
He had just featured as volunteer of the week in the Jewish Chronicle - part of the feature article is abridged to form this content.
Dr Gaunt, Emergency Consultant at Watford General Hospital said: "My family are very supportive of what I do. My wife, Ellen, is frequently left to look after our five children on her own when I attend an incident." He has volunteered for Basics-London for 10 years and is also medical director of Hatzola in Stamford Hill. He also fundraises for the charity, running in the London BUPA 10k last May.
He adds: "While working as a pre-hospital doctor with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service at the Royal London Hospital, I developed a passion for working at the roadside. About a year after I had left Hems I was approached by a member of BASICS who had nominated me to become a member. I jumped at the opportunity to continue to treat patients outside the hospital environment."
"I am called by the ambulance service, either London or East of England, and asked to attend the scene of a critically injured or unwell person, any time, night or day (usually at night). I will then get into my car, which is fitted with blue lights and sirens, and drive to the address given.
At the scene I liaise with the ambulance crews and assist with caring for the patient. I can provide much stronger pain-killers, can give fluid to patients in whom intravenous access is difficult, and give general anaesthetic to those seriously injured.
At the scene of a road traffic collision I will liaise with the fire service and ambulance crews to ensure that the trapped patient is extricated in the most appropriate way. In extreme cases I will be required to perform emergency surgery at the roadside.
There is a great sense of working in a team. At the roadside there are ambulance and fire crews and police. There is a great pulling together for a single aim —that of saving lives."
What is your most memorable volunteering moment?
"This has to be when I went to the 18th birthday party of a young lady whose life I helped to save, after she was involved in a serious road traffic collision. Seeing how happy all her family was, and seeing her smile and dance with her friends, when only six months before she had been fighting for her life, made all the broken nights' sleep worthwhile."