A run of the mill commute to work at the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre turned into a blue light ambulance ride for Staff Nurse Sian Evans when her car skidded on black ice in January 2015. Sian, 24, ended up hanging upside down by her seat belt after the car spun out of control and rolled into a ditch in rural Leicestershire.
‘All I can remember about the accident is hearing the airbag deploy,’ says Sian. ‘The next thing I remember was being in a bit of a panic and trying to get my seatbelt off. I hadn’t realised I was upside down until the seatbelt was released and I fell on to the steering wheel. It was quite dark as I was on a country road and I couldn’t find my phone, so I climbed in to the back of the car and somehow got out of the passenger door.’
Despite being in shock and suffering from neck and back pain, Sian managed to walk to a nearby farm where a passer-by kindly took her back to her partner’s house in Harby before calling an ambulance. On arrival, the paramedics realised that Sian’s injuries could be worse than they looked, so she was taken by road ambulance to the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) to be checked out.
‘Sian was reluctant to be a trauma patient, preferring to be on the other side of the trolley,’ recalls Sian’s colleague and Major Trauma Case Manager, Rohan Revell. ‘But we treated her arrival as a Green Trauma Call – that’s the category where there’s been a serious mechanism but the patient appears to be relatively stable – and the team were ready to treat her as soon as she arrived in Resus.’
The Major Trauma Centre team quickly got to work: assessing Sian’s injuries, administering pain relief and making sure she was ‘collared and blocked’ to protect her spine in case of injury. Sian was then given a CT scan to further assess her condition. Luckily, she escaped with no serious injuries, although she was stiff and sore for some time after the accident.
‘I was asked if I wanted to stay in the Lynn Jarrett Unit for a while, which is a short-stay admissions area next to the Emergency Department at QMC,’ says Sian. ‘However, I was keen to get back home and was discharged later the same day. The care I received from my colleagues was excellent and I couldn’t fault anyone.’
‘It was certainly an experience to be on the “other” side of care at the Major Trauma Centre and I can completely emphasise with some of our patients and what they’re going through, such as being collared and blocked. Arriving by ambulance was certainly a different way of getting to work and it’s one commute I won’t be forgetting in a hurry!’
Sian has now made a complete recovery from her accident and is back at work in the Major Trauma Unit at Ward C30 at QMC.