It just might be that one day you are the first person to arrive at an accident scene, or you may be involved in a road accident but uninjured. Would you know what to do?
In 2018 alone, thousands of people in Australia died or acquired injuries due to road traffic accidents. While the lack of proper roads, distractions, and negligent driving can be partly be blamed for this high fatality rate, a large portion of these deaths can be attributed to the fact that most casualties do not get proper medical attention and first aid on time.
Based on our national road toll data, thousands of lives could have been saved if immediate first aid had been administered even before paramedics arrived. These underline the importance of basic road safety awareness and knowledge of first aid.
We are going to look at each of these life-saving steps that can help a road accident victim.
Arriving at the accident scene
When you come across a road accident, the first thing you need to know is whether the scene is safe to enter and accessible before attempting to render first aid. This is to ensure your safety first before helping the casualties.
Check for Injuries
If you have been injured in the accident, check yourself first for any injuries or bleeding. If others are injured, assess the extent of their injuries. Look for any bleeding in the head, neck, arms, legs, abdomen, and other parts of the body.
Call Ambulance Services
Immediately call for an emergency ambulance or emergency medical services (EMS) to inform them about the incident. Ask their advice to resuscitate and rush the victims to the nearest medical facility.
Check for obstructions in the mouth or throat.
If the victim has stopped breathing, check his mouth for any obstruction. Use your index and middle finger to remove the obstruction and to clear the airway.
Perform life-saving techniques
If there is no pulse and the victim is unresponsive and not breathing, perform CPR immediately. Place the victim’s body in the recovery position, keep the neck straight, then proceed with CPR.
Treat bleeding wounds
A clean cloth or soft pad can stop bleeding by applying continuous pressure to the open wound. Press down with your palms and treat the fracture.
Dealing with Spinal Injuries (Always suspect spinal injuries)
Neck and spinal injuries are expected in a road accident. If the victim is unconscious or the neck is not normally placed, it’s best not to move the victim unless they are in immediate danger. Rough handling or moving the victim with suspected neck and spinal injuries can cause more harm.
Keep the victim warm
Victims feel excessive cold after the accident due to shock. Therefore, keeping them warm is crucial for their survival. Use a jacket, a pullover, or whatever is available on the scene.
To prevent the incidence of fatal road accidents in the country, we need to know how to deal with road traffic accidents. Attend a first aid course to learn the basics of first aid. Learn how to save lives with simple skills that you can learn in just a few hours.