RIP Luis

It is always a tragedy to lose young, active healthy people to trauma – and the pain is of course shared even more widely when the victim is a sportsman in the public eye. I would therefore like to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends, teammates and fans, of Luis Salom.

I have read the statement that was released detailing the medical management of this tragedy. I know Dr. Angel Charte, and have worked with him. His statement reads like a textbook of management of severe traumatic injury.

As to the use of ground transport as opposed to helicopter transfer to the receiving hospital, I think one crucial point must be kept in mind. Luis was in cardiac arrest on arrival of rescue services, and remained so during the intervention.

Angel no doubt had the helicopter moved to the scene to facilitate the most rapid transport possible IN THE EVENT THAT THE CARDIAC ARREST WAS RAPIDLY REVERSIBLE (airway obstruction, severe hypovolemia, etc). When Dr. Charte realised that the quality of CPR on the way to the hospital was going to be the determinant factor in Luis’ eventual survival, he astutely elected for an ambulance, where the availability of more space makes high quality CPR (a team effort) possible. This was an exceptionally mature decision by an experienced and unflappable clinician. Unfortunately, it was not to be…

It is reassuring to see that from a medical point of view, these guys are in very good hands.

Good bye Luis.

7 thoughts on “RIP Luis

  1. Thank you for the for the update. I agree it is always tragic to lose a life.
    Cardiac arrest it’s something we can reverse but it is never a guarantee my applause to everyone to everyone who worked so diligently to try to assessed. Shirley
    Medical manager the Circuit of the America Austin, Texas

  2. First, my deep condolences to family and fans of Luis Salom. Respect and prayers for them!

    Gary, I am so sorry for my last post. I understand your point. When it comes to patient wellbeing I usually loose my nerves and suffer one kind of bad verbal incontinence. Sorry for making you editing 😉 Will try to improve on that, in the meantime all your editing are well coming, I really appreciate!

    By the way, all that technical data said, the information provided by Dr. Charte statement was rigorous and accurate. Being all the care provided exquisite appropiate, from the circuit to the hospital I found it more a bit of desperate. Even if they expected (really?) a good outcome from an asystolia in politrauma victim?? CPR on the go, even with a Lucas(R), as I previously mentioned, is not frequently performed, and in the vast majority of the cases, is the translation of pure frustration in the event of taking care of a very young victim as this happened. And It does not associates with neurological healty outcomes. It is hard but I have to say on my experience, it is true. It is prolong the unavoidable.

    For all who work on the field, we all know the feelings of the team and the magnificent effort done by everybody trying to attempt life saving measures. At this point I might be nearly getting banned from your blog?? 😉 I strongly feel that the team was reluctant to pronounce the rider death on the scene. We all been there, and while I understand perfectly all the attempts to save this kid life, I have to say I seriously doubt any medical intervention, even with a full hospital by the rider falling place, would have made a difference. I feel this as a reality.

    Sad to say same thing I felt back in the 90’s when I saw poor Roland live crashing(remember that old fasioned 5:1 guidelines that can be identified perfectly applied on scene?) and short late Senna (god bless Prof who got a pulse from a pulseless seriously head injured driver with a massive blood loss). I strongly believe it would have changed nothing if the hospital were 10 meter from the place of the crashes.

    Being that true, I have to confirm the choice of transfer, everybody with som experience -only a flight test- on a medical helicopter knows no CPR is going to be performed on flight, there is literally not space. You can barely reach the airway to manage, and if you want to deffibrilate, you have to ask for permission to the pilot by radio. Only when allowed are you able to deliver the shock on flight. No shock also (logical) while landing and take off.

    All that say, I still think that “on the way CPR”, in the modern world, where neurological state is key in all healthcare of trauma victims, is only a resource to be used in desperate cases (and of course asystole donations if possible). And trust me it is really difficult to make this on the go! My respect for them also for this!

    Rip kid! We will miss you!

    Peace and Love for all!

    • I agree about the absolutely horrible prognosis of (blunt) traumatic cardiac arrest, especially when the patient is in arrest on initial medical contact. But as you point out, given the young age, the possibility of reversible causes, and the very public nature of these tragedies, it is entirely understandable that the rescue services give it their all in such cases.

      Thanks for writing!

  3. Thank you for your compassionate and insightful explanation of the medical management involved in this tragic accident. And condolences to the family, friends and fans of this young man.

  4. Thanks for your professional courtesy in posting this commentary. I had wondered about the use of land transport rather than air; thanks for your clarifications of medical protocol.

  5. Thanks once again for your invaluable insight into the medical world of motorsports. It is nice to see that the Moto GP medical team published a detailed account of their efforts to save him, instead of the secrecy that we see in Jules Bianchi and F1.

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