Coroner reveals man could have been saved

·1-min read

Ambulance volunteers should be able to administer IVs to potentially save lives, a Tasmanian coroner has recommended.

Coroner Simon Cooper made the call in a report on the January 2021 death of metro bus driver Garth McDonald Leighton.

Mr Leighton died aged 58 after his motorcycle crashed with another vehicle between the towns of Hamilton and Bothwell.

He sustained chest and abdominal injuries when he lost control of his 1999 Yamaha "as he attempted to negotiate a left hand curve" on Hollow Tree Road, coroner Simon Cooper stated in his official report released on Tuesday.

Mr Cooper found Mr Leighton could have been helped had Ambulance Tasmania volunteers been equipped with IV access and an IV fluid resuscitation package.

Mr Leighton drifted into the wrong lane, into the path of a white Nissan X Trail hire car and while passing motorists stopped to help, including local police and Volunteer Ambulance Officers, he died at the scene.

Ambulance Tasmania told the coroner that volunteers do not cannulate or administer intravenous fluids.

"As Volunteer Ambulance Officers only hold a first-aid level qualification they operate under a limited set of Clinical Field Protocols with a limited scope of practice and are not able to safely operate or administer all the equipment and drugs available to qualified paramedics," they said in a statement.

Mr Cooper recommended that Ambulance Tasmania consider providing all volunteer crewed ambulances with IV access and IV fluid resuscitation packages. And that volunteer officers receive additional training in the administration of IV fluids.

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