Kanchanaburi health office probes rescuers’ wrong evaluation of accident victim condition

A probe by Kanchanaburi health office found that rescue workers handling a road accident in Thong Pha Phum district wrongly assumed that the accident victim died at the scene, causing her to be left unhelped for about 10 minutes.

Kanchanaburi provincial health chief Dr Panas Sophonpong launched a probe into the case after a video clip of the accident went viral on the social media and drew heavy criticisms over the rescue workers' handling of the accident.

Two persons, including a 19-year-old woman and a 6-year-old boy, were injured in the accident which occured on March 12. Rescue workers arriving at the scene checked the condition of the woman and assumed that she was dead. They covered her body with white cloth and moved on to rescue the boy.

Hospital staff later arrived and examined the woman and found that was still alive. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was conducted to revive her heart and sent her to hospital.

But she died upon arrival at the hospital, while the injured boy was in safe condition.

Netizens viewed that had rescue workers correctly evaluated the woman's condition, she would have survived.

Dr Panas said according to the investigation, the victim's pulse was very weak, so, the rescuers could not detect it and assumed that she was dead.

However, professional nurse who arrived in hospital ambulance detected the woman's pulse in the groin and managed to revive her vital signs after performing the CPR.

Dr Panas admitted that some inexperience rescue workers might not be able to detect low pulse, or might have to check the pulse at the groin.

He went on saying that since the victim was a young woman, the rescuers might feel it was inappropriate to measure vital signs in her groin and only checked on her wrist and neck.

Apart from the failure to detect the pulse, the rescue workers had followed the necessary first-aid procedures as they were trained, the provincial health chief said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)