Gladstone hospital emergency medicine director Dr Augustus Kigotho would love every day to be free from road deaths and injuries.
Gladstone hospital emergency medicine director Dr Augustus Kigotho would love every day to be free from road deaths and injuries. Allen Winter

Gladstone ED doctor sees effects of trauma every week

EIGHTY-THREE deaths and 2744 people injured in just 13 years.

The Gladstone Regional Council area's road toll for 2001-2013 - revealed during an APN Newsdesk analysis of Queensland Government traffic data - are shocking.

Gladstone hospital emergency medicine director Dr Augustus Kigotho and his colleagues would love every day to be free from road deaths and injuries.

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"There is no way we can go for a week without seeing someone who has been in some type of accident, whether it's a car, a motorbike or someone having a fall," Dr Kigotho said.

"The worst type of accident is when the person dies or when they have a permanent injury such as a spinal cord injury that can leave a person paralysed from the neck or waist down."

All the training in the world cannot erase the impacts of road trauma for Dr Kigotho and his team.

"It's a very emotional thing," he said.

"Just because we have the label 'doctor' doesn't mean we're not human underneath.

"It is very sorrowful and sad sometimes, particularly when it's a young person involved and when we know the accident was preventable.

"Whatever we do we have some attachment to the patient and we feel for them and their family."

Dr Kigotho urged road users to heed messages about speeding and drink-driving before it was too late.

"Trauma is the most common cause of death for people before the age of 44," he said.

"These are people in their peak productive age.

"I think in the vast majority of accidents one of two factors comes into play and those are speed and intoxication.

My biggest messages would be to obey the speed limit and don't even think about getting behind the wheel if you're intoxicated in any way.

"Also, passengers please wear your safety belts."

He said he hoped his plea would not fall on deaf ears.

"These messages are presented many times but people just don't listen," Dr Kigotho said.

- APN NEWSDESK



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