Dreamworld accident: Why ambulance officer used the phrase 'injuries incompatible with living' video

ITN

Gavin Fuller faces the media just two hours after one of the most traumatic scenes of his career.

He's been pilloried on social media and hauled over the coals by language pedants, but Gavin Fuller was merely saying the version of English he knows best.

In the panic of the catastrophic ride malfunction that killed four at Dreamworld on Tuesday the ambulance officer's seemingly heartless description of the victims' injuries rubbed many up the wrong way.

Fuller, facing the media just two hours after no doubt one of the most traumatic scenes of his career, described the four victims as having suffered "injuries incompatible with living".

NZN VIDEO/AAP

Hundreds of tributes for Dreamworld victims are laid at the Queensland amusement park.

In the madness of media coverage that followed many attacked the Gold Coast's acting supervising officer - and the media reporting his words - for what they saw as a seemingly cold and ridiculous sounding description of four people dying.

READ MORE:
Killed Canberra couple were trailblazing heroes who stood up to bureacracy
New Zealand woman Cindy Low separated from family to sit in ill-fated raft
Kiwi man let group in front who died in tragic accident 
Four dead in theme park tragedy
Dreamworld fatalities come after history of theme park accidents
Kiwi theme park-goers to be refunded
Union had raised operational issues with Dreamworld for over a year 
Ride had 'broken down' earlier in the day 
Thunder Rapids: Moderate thrill 

But Fuller was merely using a clinical term commonly used by medical professionals, police and other emergency services in Australia.

Gavin Fuller: 'They have sustained injuries that were incompatible with living'.
ITN

Gavin Fuller: 'They have sustained injuries that were incompatible with living'.

It describes a type of injury that is deemed by paramedics to be so severe that CPR is deemed futile.

The Queensland Ambulance Service's official clinical practice guidelines for resuscitation outline a number of instances in which CPR should not be attempted.

New Zealander Cindy Low (top right) has been described as a beautiful wife, mother and dear friend.
FACEBOOK

New Zealander Cindy Low (top right) has been described as a beautiful wife, mother and dear friend.

 

Ad Feedback

They include where the patient has sustained injuries that are "totally incompatible with life".

According to the document, such injuries include decapitation, cranial and cerebral destruction, hemicorporectomy (where the body is amputated below the waist), incineration or foetal maceration (foetal death).

Luke Dorset, his partner Roozi Araghi, and Kate Goodchild, who were killed in an accident at Australia's Dreamworld.
FACEBOOK

Luke Dorset, his partner Roozi Araghi, and Kate Goodchild, who were killed in an accident at Australia's Dreamworld.

Many would point out that it remains a ridiculous term.

But in a society so scared of death it changes "undertaker" to "funeral director", "coffin" to "casket", "grave" to "burial plot", and even "death" to "passing away", it's hardly the biggest travesty.

REUTERS

Forensics investigators look into an accident on a rapids ride at a theme park in Gold Coast, Australia that left four people dead. Julie Noce reports.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback