Updated: Jun 7
On the 27th April 2021 at 16:34
Reuben (15yrs old) was playing with siblings and friends in the recreation ground and was climbing a tree when he stepped onto a weak branch 2.5 metres off the ground. The branch immediately gave way and he fell to the ground, landing onto his lower back. He immediately felt pain in his lower back and neck.
Samuel (Cpl Hinks) was cycling past on his way home from school when he heard the shouts for help from the recreation ground. He immediately stopped his bike, left it by the hedge and ran through a gap in the hedge close to where the casualty was lying. He noted that there were no signs of danger from further falling branches, and called to the casualty by name.
Having established that the casualty was responsive, he knelt next to him and offered reassurance whilst encouraging him to stay still. Samuel got the details of what had happened and when from those nearby, and asked Reuben where his pain was. Samuel realised that Reuben had fallen from a significant height and had pain in his lower back and neck. He used a coat and his lunch boxes to create some form of containment around Reuben’s head and neck to help him keep the neck still. He arranged for a helper to summon adult help from the close neighbour. He attempted to call me (his and Reuben’s mother) as I am a GP and he realised medical help was needed. Unfortunately as I was with a patient I was unable to answer the phone directly. He therefore made the decision to call for an ambulance. He was able to give the ambulance service the requested information for them to triage the call to lower priority and send a First Responder about 35 minutes after he placed the call. Whilst awaiting the First Responder Samuel covered the casualty with a blanket and ensured that the casualty had a companion and remained immolbilised whilst he removed his bike from the road.
After formal help arrived, Reuben was moved to a spinal board by paramedics and transferred to the John Radcliffe hospital. After clinical assessment he had a CT scan of his lower back and neck to rule out any bony injury. Fortunately the scans looked ok on initial review and he was able to be discharged at 11:45 pm after pain relief and being mobilised off the spinal board. Subsequent review of scans has shown a small spinal fracture