Anyone else see the kid get stabbed on Churchill/Sumner at about 12:30 today?

pernizzo

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Aug 10, 2010
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So we're heading south on Churchill at about 12:30 today to the Acropolis, and we see a few kids sprinting across the road by that Mercedes taller through oncoming traffic, obviously trying to get the f*ck out of dodge of something. Well, the light cycles, and there are a lot of cars still stopped, looking at the sidewalk in front of that empanada joint, and I notice several people dragging along a teenager with 2-3 gaping stab wounds in his chest, covered in blood. I didn't have my kit with me, and thus was in no mood to assist (no gloves/mask/rebreather/trauma supplies). Call me indifferent, but there's too much HIV/blood-borne illness here.

I drove up the street to La Sirena, saw a few PN standing around, and pulled over to ask them to radio/call for help. They looked at me and laughed, and continued talking. We passed Blue Mall, few more PN standing around, asked them for help. They said they'd call, did nothing. Finally found an AMET officer with a radio, and she radioed HQ for help. Knowing ambulance service here, that bus probably arrived 60-90 minutes later.

Here's my issue:

Even if I had stopped to help, there's no guarantee an ambulance/medics are on their way... what am I supposed to do? If someone wants this dude dead, will they come back for me, since I am helping him? If the PN becomes involved, will they think that I had something to do with this? Do I just throw the poor bastard in the back of my jeepeta and haul him to the hospital at top speed, then pspray it down when I'm done?

The public health issues in this country are just ridiculous... mortality rates are far too high for traumas that have high survivability rates in other countries.

I'm at a loss here. I'm qualified to help, but really prefer not to based on a huge number of factors here. It tears at me to drive by these scenes here, as in the States I'm usually the first motorist/bystander to help out (ex-EMT).

Any advice or similar experiences?
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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This is a difficult one. As you say the mortality rates for trauma are far too high here, as a) no one helps b} no one knows what they are doing even if they do help and c} there is no efficient ambulance service. If you do help you are at risk of infection, retaliation or even imprisonment.

But when I was shot I was helped by local Dominicans and Haitians who saved my life getting me to hospital albeit carrying me, on motoconchos and eventually flagging down a car. They turned their t-shirts inside out so the police would not see the blood. Notwithstanding some were arrested for a couple of days. I cannot ever say how grateful I was to them.

If it was me now, yes I would help and damn the consequences, but am not sure it would be a wise move. At least I could look at myself in the mirror in the morning.

Matilda
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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No sir....I am a Registered Nurse with Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Neonatal Resuscitation Provider credentials and I would not help. Say for instance you help and the person dies anyway (3 deep stab wounds can do that to ya), first thing the family will say is "That foreigner was pushing on his chest too hard! He killed him!" Then the witnesses will show up..."Si, lo vi a el muchacho. Estaba botando mucha sangre pero todavia estaba respirando bien, hasta que lleg? el gringo y le hizo esa vaina.....pobrecito, se murio 2 minuto despues!"
Nope, unless you don't have a family to worry about or don't care about jail or your finances being drained...leave it alone.
As healthcare practitioners it goes against everything we were taught but there are no good samaritan laws in DR.

SHALENA
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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No sir....I am a Registered Nurse with Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Neonatal Resuscitation Provider credentials and I would not help. Say for instance you help and the person dies anyway (3 deep stab wounds can do that to ya), first thing the family will say is "That foreigner was pushing on his chest too hard! He killed him!" Then the witnesses will show up..."Si, lo vi a el muchacho. Estaba botando mucha sangre pero todavia estaba respirando bien, hasta que lleg? el gringo y le hizo esa vaina.....pobrecito, se murio 2 minuto despues!"
Nope, unless you don't have a family to worry about or don't care about jail or your finances being drained...leave it alone.
As healthcare practitioners it goes against everything we were taught but there are no good samaritan laws in DR.

SHALENA
Sad, but very true.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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i talked today to a retired american doctor residing in POP. i asked if he ever had to help a random person in the states and here in DR. he said in USA you are bound to help (in poland a doctor can be prosecuted if he/she does not give help) and he did have few instances when he assisted a sick or wounded person. he also said he would never do it in DR as it involves too much risk of having various people trying to suck your wallet dry in case the "patient" does not make it.
on a different note the accidents victims i saw in DR were very dead on the spot. there's no helping them.
 

Celt202

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May 22, 2004
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Walk on By

Once when the world was much younger I rented a bar in la Guibia Plaza in Santo Trafficjam.

One of the palomos who hung out there had his head split open with a bottle during a bit of umpleasantness. Several people and I loaded him into my car and took him to Padre Billini Hospital in the Colonial Zone.

While they were attending to him the moron of a cop who was on duty there was asking questions and wanted to detain all of us "for investigation". After a bit of discussion the matter was settled for a 200 peso propina and we all left.

:tired:
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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My friend is a reg'd trauma nurse ( a He ) who works in the Yukon. He lives in RD.

On arriving home one day (being driven by his Dominican brother-in-law) they passed an accident on the road.
Moto had been hit and the rider's leg was a good distance from his body.

The medic , instinctively , wanted to stop and offer his skills..... The b-i-l said absolutley not... we'll just phone for help.
The risk of legal repercussion was just too high

Hard to believe - but true.
Rule #1 here..... never stop..... nunca !
 

fidget

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Sep 2, 2004
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My friend is a reg'd trauma nurse ( a He ) who works in the Yukon. He lives in RD.

On arriving home one day (being driven by his Dominican brother-in-law) they passed an accident on the road.
Moto had been hit and the rider's leg was a good distance from his body.

The medic , instinctively , wanted to stop and offer his skills..... The b-i-l said absolutley not... we'll just phone for help.
The risk of legal repercussion was just too high

Hard to believe - but true.
Rule #1 here..... never stop..... nunca !
A friend of mine (he is from europe) lost his leg in a motorcycle accident 10 years back on the road between LT and SD. The dominican driver didnt stop, but some people passing by helped him. They stole his wallet but they took him to a hospital. His brother needed to organize blood to save his life and they were able to fly him to germany for proper surgery and to get him a c-leg. If noone would have stopped - he would have died. So while I do understand the need to protect yourself, I'm still thankful that someone helped him. they could have stolen his wallet and left him there - but they didnt. They even identified the driver and with some help from friends he went to jail.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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I would stop and help if possible and generally many Dominicans would from what I've seen if they thought the guy wasn't a thief or something. As an example, if you go by one of the local public hospital emergency rooms on the weekends you will see most people are brought in private cars and sometimes by strangers.
 

Shiraz72

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Feb 10, 2010
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So we're heading south on Churchill at about 12:30 today to the Acropolis, and we see a few kids sprinting across the road by that Mercedes taller through oncoming traffic, obviously trying to get the f*ck out of dodge of something. Well, the light cycles, and there are a lot of cars still stopped, looking at the sidewalk in front of that empanada joint, and I notice several people dragging along a teenager with 2-3 gaping stab wounds in his chest, covered in blood. I didn't have my kit with me, and thus was in no mood to assist (no gloves/mask/rebreather/trauma supplies). Call me indifferent, but there's too much HIV/blood-borne illness here.

I drove up the street to La Sirena, saw a few PN standing around, and pulled over to ask them to radio/call for help. They looked at me and laughed, and continued talking. We passed Blue Mall, few more PN standing around, asked them for help. They said they'd call, did nothing. Finally found an AMET officer with a radio, and she radioed HQ for help. Knowing ambulance service here, that bus probably arrived 60-90 minutes later.

Here's my issue:

Even if I had stopped to help, there's no guarantee an ambulance/medics are on their way... what am I supposed to do? If someone wants this dude dead, will they come back for me, since I am helping him? If the PN becomes involved, will they think that I had something to do with this? Do I just throw the poor bastard in the back of my jeepeta and haul him to the hospital at top speed, then pspray it down when I'm done?

The public health issues in this country are just ridiculous... mortality rates are far too high for traumas that have high survivability rates in other countries.

I'm at a loss here. I'm qualified to help, but really prefer not to based on a huge number of factors here. It tears at me to drive by these scenes here, as in the States I'm usually the first motorist/bystander to help out (ex-EMT).

Any advice or similar experiences?
I haven't experience this issue in DR but on my travels abroad in Laos. My ex and I were there for a month. He's a Laotian national but lives in Canda and I'm Canadian. We saw a young guy trying to cross the street get hit by a motorcycle and the driver of the motorcycle got severely injured along with the pedestrian... onlookers helped the driver get to hospital but left the pedestrian on the street for dead... he was barely contious and his shirt was soaked in blood which was coming from his mouth and nose...my ex ended up getting another motorcyclist to sandwich the guy between them on the bike and took him to the hospital where he died...my ex was afraid because over there, the family could blame him for the accident and make him pay their expenses... plus he was covered in the guys blood. It ended up that he waited for the family and they were grateful for his help. Nothing more came of it. It's a personal choice you have to make. Whether to leave well enough alone or if your conscience will let you forget about if you don't help? That's a tough one.
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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We have taken several people to the local hospital who were involved in accidents on the main las Americas road. Never an issue and they and their families were always grateful. I personally do not know of any expat who had a problem after helping someone at the scene of an accident or taking them to hospital - but have heard it warned against time and time again.

Matilda
 

eastcoastmike

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Jul 18, 2004
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My question is ...what kind of savages are roaming the streets?Stabbings at high noon?If this place isnt going down the ****ter what is?
 

SKing

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Nov 22, 2007
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I personally do not know of any expat who had a problem after helping someone at the scene of an accident or taking them to hospital - but have heard it warned against time and time again.

Matilda
Yeah, 'cause who wants to be the one to prove them right!

SHALENA
 

AlterEgo

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Jan 9, 2009
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Concerning the OP, it turned out to be a long running dispute between two window washing kids. The one that was stabbed had been bullying the other kids and stealing the money they were making washing windows.

Apparently one kid finally got fed up and let him have it. That's why there wasn't a whole lot of effort to assist him.

According to the local papers, he didn't make it, btw.
Not that it matters, but we heard it was a Haitian kid and a Dominican kid. The Haitian boy had the knife, stabbed the Dominican boy. Sad business.

AE
 

Mariot

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Oct 13, 2009
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not trying to put down the op here, since i don't know how i would have reacted in that situation. but knowing that the kid died and i could have helped would wear on my conscious quire heavily.
 

Anastacio

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Feb 22, 2010
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not trying to put down the op here, since i don't know how i would have reacted in that situation. but knowing that the kid died and i could have helped would wear on my conscious quire heavily.
So why bother mentioning it, do you want the OP to feel guilty or in some regrets? Obviously so as you have stated it would effect you!!
You can't allow these things to bother you, he might have helped he might not. He might have brought terrible troubles on himself. And for the sakes of a life that in all reality is going nowhere anyway other than a life of street crime, really, I wouldn't be losing any sleep over it!
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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And for the sakes of a life that in all reality is going nowhere anyway other than a life of street crime, really, I wouldn't be losing any sleep over it!
I did not know that windscreen washing was street crime. They were windscreen washing kids and had just been paid 25 pesos in a single coin and were arguing over dividing it up. For the sake of 12 and a half pesos one child is dead and another will spend his life behind bars.

As my Dominican husband said to me, as we watched it on the local news channel, that is the value of a life here now.

matilda