Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Severed Carotid At WRHQ... back in the day", by Ralph Lee

"It was Saturday October 11, 1986 and I was assigned to Will Rogers HQ 8:30 - 6:30. After opening up the HQ and checking out Unit 208 I refueled the unit and took an area patrol. I drove back to the HQ and Lt. Randy DeGregori came by on patrol about 10:30. We were upstairs in the lookout when the side door buzzer rang. I went downstairs - opened the door to find a surfer in a wetsuit with his hand on his neck stating he had a FIN cut on his neck. Blood was running down his wetsuit. I went to get a *lister pack from the first aid cabinet and applied direct pressure and the lister pack to the wound. I yelled to Randy upstairs to call for the Call Car and paramedics and that I needed his help as the lister pack became soaked almost immediately. We applied at least 1 more (maybe 2) lister packs along with direct pressure which did not slow or stop the bleeding. The patient was losing blood rapidly. Randy had the presence of mind to remove the lister packs and reach into the laceration (red blood was spurting out of the wound) and proceeded to pinch the artery shut between his thumb and forefinger thus ending the bleed. The 15-year-old patient was transported to St. Johns Hospital. The laceration was found to be about 4 inches long - the carotid artery had been severed and more than 2 pints of blood lost. To this day, I will never forget Randy DeGregori's quick-thinking and action taken during this true emergency." 

(Story © Ralph Lee 2016. Used here with permission.)

note: *lister pack:  per Randy DeGregori: "Otherwise known as a "battle dressing", large compress." And from Ralph:  "... don't know if lister packs are still used.  They were compresses that were about 2 inches thick and maybe 1 foot square or so.  They were used to stop profuse bleeding--- needless to say I had never gone through that many and so quickly.. Thankfully I never had to  use that many again."

Below, a photo of Ralph Lee at the recent memorial service in honor of OLS Bill Powers (R.I.P.) at WRHQ several weeks ago.):

And a present day photo of Chief Randy DeGregori (Ret.) below:


 *** Thanks Ralph! *** 

We had heard of this emergency first aid story before but it has never before been told to our readership or otherwise memorialized in writing and we very much appreciate the opportunity of sharing it with our readership.

Respectfully submitted,

"County Recurrent" News

(All photos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2016.)

***   ***   ***


MP said...

Wow! Good story. What exactly was a lister pack?

William Maguire said...

(note: *lister pack: per Randy DeGregori: "Otherwise known as a "battle dressing", large compress.")