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No Wonder So Many People Die/are Injured On The Roads In Thailand - A Horror Story!


Tigs

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I am still shaking!

About one hour ago we heard a screech and a smash on the road outside my Mother in Laws House. We new it was some sort of vehicle impact and ran out side. I found a young guy laying on the floor after having been thrown off his moped which was now a crumpled wreck as he appeared to have driven straight in to one of the concrete posts that holds up the power lines. It appered from the mess he was in he had hit the post and been cartwheeled around it, then being deposited on the floor 5 meters away. Amazingly he was wearing a helmet.

I am a bit of a closet medic, having been involved in delivering training for both basic and advanced life support and the delivery of full first aid at work courses. I assessed him very quickly, it was not good, he had a badly smashed helmet (indicating possible head wounds) a broken femur (really not good) and I suspected a broken pelvis, various cuts and grazes. The guy was conscious and clearly in a lot of pain. He was attempting to move, I called my wife and asked her to talk to the guy, ask his name where he lives blah blah and tell him it is very important that he does not move. Someone had called an ambulance already and we had quite a crowd of spectators. I tried to comfort him, just talking shit and trying to keep him calm, he started trying to move again and I told my wife to tell him to stay as still as he can, she said quite innocently

I already told him that when you asked me a few minutes ago
, she wondered why I gave her the Xenon stare and bit my lip and whispered 'well f*****g tell him again, and then tell him every 30 seconds', she could not understand why this young guy writhing on the ground needed telling more than once!!

A pick-up truck with a flashing light screeches up with a police car. The policeman gets out and just goes straight to the bike. The (used in the loosest term) medics come over carrying a stretcher. I am ready to give a handover brief, via my wife and let them know the extent of injuries that I am positively aware of, but, oh no, that was not going to happen. I was literally brushed aside out of the way without a word. One of the 'medics' asks the guys name, he either couldn't hear or they didn't hear the reply, so the turn his head around and rip his helmet off!!!!!, to the accompany of many squeals from the casualty. They then roll him over from the position he was lying still (at no time having conducted any assessment) and the two of them lift him up onto the stretcher (at which point I was ignored when I tried to offer assistance by supporting the guys head and neck, nope they just used his arms and legs and swung him on to the stretcher). He screams A LOT!, I shout NO! and ask my wife to intervene, ..she does not (as she doesn't know what my fuss is about, these are medics after all'!). Once on his back, they straighten him up and strap his head and chest, then they STRAIGHTENED HIS LEGS (not in a medical, careful calculated way, they just wanted him nice and neat on the stretcher)!!!. They twisted the hips and the distended upper leg, the scream was blood curdling, then they strapped his legs down (I am now thinking if the bone has now severed the femural artery he has about 10 mins to live), all of this without a single word to anybody. They lifted him up slid him in the back of the pick up and sped off, with the tailgate down and no one in the back with him. Is he still alive? Well he should have been, but God only knows what damage the 'medics' did.

My wife does not know why I am bothered. She just said it is normal and that 'this is Thailand'. Now she doesn't know why I have gone to sit outside and not speak.

I am angry, I am shaking, my good friend is the Governor and I want to break his door down now. I have not witnessed anything so barbaric. I have seen casualties on the battlefield handled with more care than what I just witnessed. Maybe I am just being a little over sensitive and compassionate?

Rant Over, I am going to have a few cold tinnies.

Edited by Tigs
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Sad reality of life in Thailand

Sad indeed and sadder still is that life is so cheap. Unfortunately, you, I or anyone can never change the driving habits of our host country. Difficult, but grin and bare it . Nakhon Phanom is recorded on the Internet as having the worst drivers in Thailand -- every day driving is a nightmare.

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Sad reality of life in Thailand

Sad indeed and sadder still is that life is so cheap. Unfortunately, you, I or anyone can never change the driving habits of our host country. Difficult, but grin and bare it . Nakhon Phanom is recorded on the Internet as having the worst drivers in Thailand -- every day driving is a nightmare.

namkong

I know the driving is bad, but the medical treatment was straight out of the middle ages.

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Tigs, Welcome To Thailand! There are only two ways you want a wreck to end here, you either walk away, or die instantly. Anywhere in the middle can make a horror movie look like a kids film. I have seen so many horrible and preventable accidents here that if I ever wrote it down I would be called a liar. Well truth is I don't even bother telling anyone Thai Jungle Stories anymore for that very reason. You tell the truth and its so far beyond the listeners expectation they cannot handle it.

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It would be very interesting to hear Marko Cunningham's views - the only foreign medic in Thailand working with the crash teams.

I doubt he would make any negative comments. I have never heard anyone that was planning on staying here make negative comments if they were working with the Thai government, education, or medical. Most leave Thailand and go negative, then its written of as if they were disgruntled or liars.

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Sad.. but yes, it is totally true that in emergency cases most of the paramedics don't know what to do. Not even in good international hospitals. I had my sister (RIP) very sick in a last stage of cancer, we did need many times of emergency ambulance and stuff, and they were just so stupid I had to scream to them so many times and even tell them how was the best way to handle her to the ambulance. Ummm.. bad memories. And like that I could number you tons of horrible experiences that we passed.

But that happen in many institutions. Also happen with police when you got to tell them things like "take a picture here, finger prints from there" .. yes, also happen to me. And Im not a police officer but I quite much had more ideas than them. lol (feel lazy to explain the whole case) but you get the point. Negligent? stupid? bad prepared? bad salary? what can make this sort of things really happen? No idea. is jut bad!

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Thai medical care can be abhorrent. Unfortunately many of the people you encounter from EMT to doctors lack quality training or the desire to implement it even if they have the knowledge. There is a strange adherence to rules when it comes to etiquette dress and schooling but a complete disinterest in playing by the book where it could save a life be it an emergency like you witnessed or keeping water safe and clean. Unfortunately these are realities of living here. This is not a developed country. You will not get state of the art telecommunications or medical care. However the food and culture is very rich, people generally have a positive attitude in spite of the odds. Its possible if Thailand ever does become developed some of it's charm will be lost. I have thought a lot about the trade off. No expat wants Thailand to become sterile like Singapore but if we could have that clean air and good medical care I might be willing to give up a bit of local flavor.

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The Thai people are not bad drivers in my experience. I have driven over 1 million kilometers here in Thailand over the past 25 years of living here. I have never had an accident, but a couple of close calls. %99.9 of the car divers here are realitively safe drivers. It is the %.01 that worries me. I don't drive at night much when the drunk drivers abound, and I think that is a key to avoiding problems. Also, get rid of the motorcycle and buy a car. 90% of the accidents happen with a motorcycle. Also get some driving skills here before you set out. :o

Edited by Ajarn
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The Thai people are not bad drivers in my experience. I have driven over 1 million kilometers here in Thailand over the past 25 years of living here. I have never had an accident, but a couple of close calls. %99.9 of the car divers here are realitively safe drivers. It is the %.01 that worries me. I don't drive at night much when the drunk drivers abound, and I think that is a key to avoiding problems. Also, get rid of the motorcycle and buy a car. 90% of the accidents happen with a motorcycle. Also get some driving skills here before you set out. :D

Wait, WHAT??????????????????????? are you insane??????? or just Thai? to think that 99.9% of drivers in thailand are "safe " drivers?? DONT YO KNOW THAT IT ONLY COSTS 2000B TO BUY YOUR LIC. HERE?????? Yes i said, it BUY! you must of got your head checked by the wonderful "health clinics" they have here in Thailand.......are you serious?? or is this like a sarcastic post? :o:D

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Tigs - the treatment that the victim received from the ambulance guys is not uncommon, especially in rural areas. There is a willingness to help accident victims, but very little or no paramedic training.

There is a paramedic training course (degree) in Bangkok, but obviously this costs money and most volunteer ambulance guys do not have the means to attend, (or even maybe the intelligence to understand and pass the course).

There really is little you can do, because most Thais will not listen to advice from a farang, even if that farang is medically trained.

Sad I know... move on now ... nothing to see

Simon

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The Thai people are not bad drivers in my experience. I have driven over 1 million kilometers here in Thailand over the past 25 years of living here. I have never had an accident, but a couple of close calls. %99.9 of the car divers here are realitively safe drivers. It is the %.01 that worries me. I don't drive at night much when the drunk drivers abound, and I think that is a key to avoiding problems. Also, get rid of the motorcycle and buy a car. 90% of the accidents happen with a motorcycle. Also get some driving skills here before you set out. :burp:

:D:D:wai::o:D:P :jerk: :burp::D Ajarn, part of your post is most certainly correct, the rest is outrageous....you must have two dix, you couldnt get that silly just playing with one. Hint: It is safer in a car.

OP, the main thing here is you know what you are in for in the event you are injured in a prang & that should be enuf for most people that witness this type of thing to at least 'think about' packing their bags. I cringe at the thought of being injured like this.

Also didnt you know they arnt interesting in a patient hand over brief.....just deliver him in any state breathing to the hopital & you get paid.....you get a different payment if he stops breathing before you get there, thats why speed is of the utmost importance.....You didnt think this was about the patient, did you?

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Tigs - the treatment that the victim received from the ambulance guys is not uncommon, especially in rural areas. There is a willingness to help accident victims, but very little or no paramedic training.

There is a paramedic training course (degree) in Bangkok, but obviously this costs money and most volunteer ambulance guys do not have the means to attend, (or even maybe the intelligence to understand and pass the course).

There really is little you can do, because most Thais will not listen to advice from a farang, even if that farang is medically trained.

Sad I know... move on now ... nothing to see

Simon

The problem is that these people are not ambulance guys, but the local "Rescue Foundation", a group usually formed by the local chinese temple to rush to road accidents in their pickup trucks. They evaluate the status of the victims, usually paying more attention to their social status than their medical condition and rush them off to hospital, getting a comission for every patient. In the past, there would be running battles between these groups trying to grab the victims first, including, on at least one occasion, a gun fight between rival groups being reported at an accident scene. Sadly, there have also been reported incidents of the rescue trucks themselves causing accidents while rushing to or from the scene. No doubt some do a better job than others, but medical care for seriously injured road accident victims should not be in the hands of untrained volunteers.

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Tigs - the treatment that the victim received from the ambulance guys is not uncommon, especially in rural areas. There is a willingness to help accident victims, but very little or no paramedic training.

There is a paramedic training course (degree) in Bangkok, but obviously this costs money and most volunteer ambulance guys do not have the means to attend, (or even maybe the intelligence to understand and pass the course).

There really is little you can do, because most Thais will not listen to advice from a farang, even if that farang is medically trained.

Sad I know... move on now ... nothing to see

Simon

The problem is that these people are not ambulance guys, but the local "Rescue Foundation", a group usually formed by the local chinese temple to rush to road accidents in their pickup trucks. They evaluate the status of the victims, usually paying more attention to their social status than their medical condition and rush them off to hospital, getting a comission for every patient. In the past, there would be running battles between these groups trying to grab the victims first, including, on at least one occasion, a gun fight between rival groups being reported at an accident scene. Sadly, there have also been reported incidents of the rescue trucks themselves causing accidents while rushing to or from the scene. No doubt some do a better job than others, but medical care for seriously injured road accident victims should not be in the hands of untrained volunteers.

Simon, ballpoint, you are both right thanks a lot. Situation now reluctantly accepted with sadness.

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  • 1 year later...
It would be very interesting to hear Marko Cunningham's views - the only foreign medic in Thailand working with the crash teams.

I doubt he would make any negative comments. I have never heard anyone that was planning on staying here make negative comments if they were working with the Thai government, education, or medical. Most leave Thailand and go negative, then its written of as if they were disgruntled or liars.

I have only just spotted this forum comment so am replying a year late sorry!

I have PLENTY of negative comments (most that have got me into trouble) but most can be read in my book "Sleeping with the Dead"

I certainly haven't made any friends with my comments but they are blunt and factual.

Way to complex to write about here but basically the Thai Rescue service is 95% voluntary and so government regulations are minimal since they are happy to not have to pay for an professional ambulance service.

There are many groups, two of the best (and biggest) are Ruamkatanyu and Poh Teck Tung. They are more professionally trained than the smaller groups. Also in the last 10 years standards have been dramatically improved.

but saying that I have no doubt that what this writer is saying about the poor "Rescue" attempt is true. There are still some shockingly bad rescue workers out there.

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Why are you with your wife if she doesn't have the mental capacity to satisfy your needs? Terrible story, sorry you had to be a part of it.

some marriages are based on verbal communication, and others on physical communication :D

I'm sad that this poor chap got banged up by the rescue workers but I think they are not medics per se. They are people who give their time for free in the service of others who are less fortunate and have come a cropper on the roads. Personally I would hope an AMBULANCE came for me rather than a rescue (huk31) truck. I've heard stories about them robbing from accident victims including dead bodies! Can't beleive everything you hear, of course. But it gives one pause for thought. :)

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The Thai people are not bad drivers in my experience.

Huh???????????????????????????????????????????????/

Some of the most fuc_king god awful twit driving i have ever experienced and i have visited pushing 100 countries. (absolue worst was korea 25 years ago.)

zero connection in too many thai minds between cause and effect.

been here for years....

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The sad truth is that you shouldn't reallly be surprised by this, you should be more surprised if they actually knew NOT to move him or sling him about that much..

That's where many people here make the mistake you see, expecting that Thai people shoudl know things like this when the majority of them are sadly uneducated in things like this, Medics or no Medics..

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Tigs, sounds like you did the best you could under the circumstances. IMHO, what you did took a lot of guts. You should sleep well in the knowledge that you can look yourself in the mirror with no regrets about your actions. Good on ya!

I have similar fears about scooters in highly populated or high traffic areas. We use them out in the country at the house all the time. They are convenient for going back and forth to the farm. With low traffic and few chances of "rot chohn" I think the risk is somewhat reduced. However my partner just established a temporary residence in Ayutthaya to be with her daughter while she attends school there. I told her to leave the scooter at the house and either walk or take a taxi. Being on a scooter in a busy place like that is not a matter of if there will be accidents, but when and how bad.

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