Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Uh-Oh Squad

Somewhere in the Bay Area today, there's a woman waking up with serious black & blue marks down her right side. I know this because when I last saw her yesterday she was being strapped to a back board and loaded into an ambulance. Here's the story.

My friends and I went on an urban excursion yesterday to celebrate someone's birthday. We had a great morning meandering thru a botanical garden, having mimosas and proscuitto wrapped shrimp in the park, and enjoying a relaxing lunch sitting high in the Berkeley hills overlooking the bay. The people watching was very good. We spotted a very pregnant bride in clingy white satin with an "outie" belly button (those will some lovely wedding pics), an Asian call girl on an afternoon assignment (dude, I apologize if that was your wife, but who wears a leather bustier, black mini skirt, 5" heels, and a quadruple strand of magnificently huge white pearls at 1:00 in the afternoon?) and Tony Soprano having a lawyer/client consultation in a hallway alcove (good luck with the deposition, T.) We were strolling across the parking lot discussing these sitings when it happened. BAM!

We whipped around, wondering if we were about to become drive-by shooting statistics. I looked to my left and saw a bicycle with a blown front tire. I looked to my right and saw a cyclist rolling on the pavement yelling about her shoulder. I should also mention the bike tire was under the front passenger tire of a large black car. Uh-Oh.

I started walking quickly over to the cyclist, hoping someone else would get there first. Despite my med-blog reading, I don't claim to have much in the way of first aid skills. Since she was yelling at the top of her voice, I assumed CPR wasn't going to be needed. At it turned out, 4 of us arrived at once: the driver of the car, a young couple from across the street and me, followed quickly by my three friends. Multiple cell phones were out but the parking lot attendant had already called 911.

Other than complaints about her shoulder, she didn't seem to be injured. Surprisingly, there was no road rash or bloody scrapes. She was moving both arms and had good control of her hands, while she unzipped her jacket and unclipped the fanny pack belt. The Uh-Oh squad was mostly standing around trying to think of things to do while we waited for emergency response. The driver of the car checked her pulse and quietly mentioned he was a doctor. She briefly opened her eyes to see who said that and then resumed moaning and writhing. Uh-Oh.

As it turned out, the pedestrian couple admitted to being an EMT and a chiropractor. Then a new black Mercedes convertible pulled up and a young man in blue scrubs got out. He was on his way to work at an adjacent hospital. By now, I'm thinking "Holy crap! What a great place to be in accident. She's got 2 MD's, a chiropractor, and an EMT and the ambulance hasn't even shown up yet. All she needs now is the lawyer, and he's right up the hill with Tony!"

I did notice that not one of the observers touched her, other than the quick pulse check. Everyone else was very careful to do visual checks and offer to call her husband or family. None of us gave her our names either - not really out of paranoia, but just caution I guess. When the fire truck and ambulance pulled up, my friends and I made a quiet get away. As we pulled out, she was being strapped to the back board.

Of course we thoroughly hashed over the experience as we drove home, and reached the following conclusions:

  • She was amazingly fit for a woman of a certain age, and appeared to be an experienced cyclist based on the expensive athletic gear she was wearing.
  • Her address was very close to the site of the accident so she must have been familiar with the busy intersection and driveway into the resort.
  • Therefore, the accident was mostly her fault for not using extra caution and ceeding right of way to the auto, even if both bike & auto had the green light.
  • And that Dr. Driver was most likely phoning his insurance agent and attorney the moment the ambulance drove off.

Uh Oh.

1 comment:

noble pig said...

Holy crap! That was an amazing recount of an insane accident. Thank gawd she is alive.