Case study: Dr Alex Sleeman

In rural and remote Australia, medical care can be limited, with distance making it difficult for emergency health services to arrive quickly.

Dr Alex Sleeman, a rural general practitioner is no stranger to this landscape, providing locum medical services to remote  communities in Western Australia. He has travelled over 100,000 kilometres in the past 18 months. During his travels he always has his emergency trauma kit, the Sandpiper bag in the back of his ute.  

With his family on holiday, travelling from Cape York to Townsville, Dr Sleeman encountered a single-vehicle accident. A Landcruiser rolled at high speed after having blown a tyre, with three occupants inside.

By a stroke of luck, Dr Sleeman arrived at the scene only a few minutes after the accident, making him the sole medical responder.

With his Sandpiper Bag easily accessible, Dr Sleeman was able to manage the situation whilst waiting for the ambulance. He used his kit to provide pain relief to a passenger who had fractured her radius and ulnar, allowing Alex to splint the broken arm. He obtained IV access in preparation for further pain relief when paramedics arrived.

Dr Sleeman noticed the other accident victim was very pale and suspected internal bleeding. He was able to keep them warm with a space blanket and gain IV access whilst awaiting paramedics.

“The paramedics couldn’t believe it when they turned up and patients already had analgesia, splints and IV access, thanks to the Sandpiper Bag.”

Thanks to Dr Sleeman’s timely arrival at the scene coupled with his medical expertise, he was able to stabilise the patients and minimise their pain. The Sandpiper Bag played a critical role in providing life-saving care in a rural roadside emergency.

Alex’s story serves as a testament to the dedication of healthcare professionals across remote and rural Australia, and  highlights the value of being prepared for unforeseen emergencies. 

Rural Doctors Foundation provides Sandpiper Bags to skilled rural doctors such as Dr Alex Sleeman, enabling them to save more lives in emergency situations.

Rural Doctors Foundation provides Sandpiper Bags to skilled rural doctors such as Dr Alex Sleeman, enabling them to save more lives in emergency situations.