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Police officer who lost leg after collision says he owes his life to passer-by who applied tourniquet

The police officer who lost his leg while on duty has described how he would have died without the help of passers-by.

PC Tom Dorman, aged 26, had his left leg amputated below the knee after a serious collision in Norden Road in September left him with a ‘catastrophic bleed’.

A trained police medic, PC Dorman had to instruct a member of the public how to apply a tourniquet to his bleeding leg before paramedics arrived.

He is certain that without their help, he would have died.

Now, seven weeks after the crash, PC Dorman is out of hospital and campaigning for police forces to train their officers how to improvise a tourniquet.

Describing the immediate aftermath following the crash, he said: “I realised there was a catastrophic bleed from my leg and from my training I knew that without treating it I would have died quite quickly.

“I don’t remember feeling any pain, so adrenaline must have kicked in.

“I remember telling someone to improvise a tourniquet around my left leg to stem the blood, either with a jumper or maybe a belt.

“I owe my life to the people that helped me. I am sure that without their help I would have died.”

A tourniquet works by applying pressure to large open wounds, normally on the leg or arms.

Wrapping something tightly above the wound seals up the arteries and reduces the bleeding.

After the incident, PC Dorman spent seven weeks in hospital, receiving four operations after he lost 14 pints of blood.

Now he has returned home, he has begun his rehabilitation and is aiming to get his first prosthetic fitted before the end of the year.

His ultimate goal is to be back on the streets working as a police officer again.

While he recovers, PC Dorman has devoted his energy to campaigning for tourniquet awareness. He wants all police forces, and eventually all first aid courses in the country, to offer tourniquet training.

He said: “It should be in all first aid courses, 100 per cent. That's what I am campaigning for. My first step is to get all police forces to teach it in their training.

“Tourniquets are as important as CPR, because the next stage after a catastrophic bleed is cardiac arrest, and if you have lost a lot of blood already then CPR won't work.”


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