© BASICS Dorset 2019

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BRUCE - A PATIENT'S STORY

Bruce is an A&E Nurse from Dorset where he lives with his wife, 2 children, pet dog and cat. He is a keen runner, cyclist and motorbiker. One night in 2016 Bruce was riding his motorbike home from Bristol. Despite being an experienced and careful rider, Bruce lost control of his bike in fog on a dark country road 30 miles south of Bristol. The bike struck a bridge wall and he ended up in river 20ft below the road: cold, wet, badly injured and alone.

A passing car driver spotted the wreck and called the Ambulance Service. With the help of the Fire Service, paramedics began the difficult rescue. Bruce was deteriorating fast. He needed urgent hospital treatment but this was being delayed by the complicated rescue and many miles of road ahead. It was too dark and foggy for the air ambulance.

A BASICS doctor from Somerset Accident Voluntary Emergency Service was sent to the scene to assist. Dr James Hickman arrived as the rescue was ongoing. Recognising the severity of Bruce’s injuries, he performed a surgical procedure at the roadside to relieve a collapsed lung that was interfering with Bruce’s heart. He then rode with Bruce in the ambulance for the journey to the nearest Major Trauma Centre at Bristol.


Despite a suffering a collapsed lung, severe internal bleeding, fractured ribs and shoulder blade, Bruce went on to make a full recovery. He has returned to work at the hospital and is back to running half and full marathons. Had he been closer to home then that life-saving intervention may not have happened as Dorset did not have a BASICS service at that time. Bruce asked his friend & colleague, Dr Katie Muscroft, if she could set up BASICS in Dorset. After 21 months of campaigning, fund raising and training the first BASICS responder in Dorset (working under SAVES) logged on in June 2018.