April 22, 2011 by OnStar
Driver Hits Doctor Head-On — Leaving Her Injured, Unconscious and Alone
On a bitterly cold night in January, Deirdre Duffy-Norine, MD, was driving home from the hospital when a driver in a one-ton pickup truck suddenly crossed the center line and headed straight toward her.
“I moved to the right lane and he moved over, too. I was trying to get out of his way, so I moved to the shoulder,” the OB/GYN doctor from Oconomowoc, Wis., says. That’s the last thing Duffy-Norine remembers before the crash.
Her 2008 Chevrolet Suburban was struck head-on by the truck, which, according to police, was traveling at a high rate of speed. Knocked unconscious, Duffy-Norine had suffered internal injuries as well as a traumatic brain injury.
Because Duffy-Norine’s vehicle was equipped with OnStar, sensors in the Chevrolet Suburban detected the crash and sent a signal to an OnStar Advisor, who was then connected into her vehicle. When Duffy-Norine didn’t respond, the Advisor used GPS to send police and medical help to her exact location.
The Golden Hour
After a severe trauma, a victim’s best chance for survival is rapid intervention. Emergency professionals refer to the time period after a traumatic injury as “The Golden Hour.” It’s the best time to minimize injury and maximize medical outcomes.
“If not for OnStar, I would have laid there alone and unconscious in the freezing cold for who knows how long,” Duffy-Norine says. She believes OnStar’s quick response helped save her life. “The severity of my injuries required prompt medical attention. OnStar had the police and ambulance at the scene of the accident within three minutes.”
Road to Recovery
“When the trauma surgeons at the hospital saw the pictures of my vehicle, they all said the vehicle did exactly what it was supposed to do,” Duffy-Norine says.
She feels strongly that the combination of driving the Suburban and having OnStar saved her life. Duffy-Norine is also grateful to General Motors — to the engineering staff and the people who assembled the vehicle to the engineers’ specifications.
“Their knowledge, attention to detail and hard work — and that of the OnStar team — saved my life.”
Read about how Automatic Crash Response helped Bill Shaul after he struck a retaining wall at 70 mph.
Tags: Emergency Services