Car Accident First Aid
Around 300,000 people are injured on Britain's roads each year from accidents involving cars, motorcycles, lorries, bicycles and other vehicles.
The majority of these suffer injuries such as whiplash, cuts, broken bones, head, neck and back injuries, but for some the accident proves fatal.
Knowledge of first aid at the scene of a road traffic accident could help ease the pain of an injured person or even save someone’s life. A calm and measured approach, together with an idea of basic first aid can make the difference between life and death for someone who has been seriously hurt in any accident.
If you witness a road traffic accident you can/could help by following these basic procedures:
Ensure your own safety and the safety of others
Take a good look at the situation and make sure you are aware of all the dangerous hazards involved at the scene of the accident, e.g. broken glass, leaking petrol, hazardous chemicals, etc. Disable the vehicles involved by turning off engines and applying handbrakes and check that oncoming traffic has sufficient warning of the accident.
Call the emergency services
Call 999 to alert the emergency services of the accident. If bystanders are present, get them to phone the emergency services so that you can see to the casualties first. Remember, when you call 999 you will need to provide the control officer with the following information:
- The exact location of the accident
- Type and seriousness of the accident
- Number of casualties involved
- Sex and approximate age of casualties
- Whether any casualties are trapped
- Details of any hazards
- Any information you know about their condition, e.g. are they breathing? Are there any broken bones? Is there any serious bleeding? etc (in most cases someone from the emergency services will stay on the phone and advise you while you carry out these checks)
Assessing the casualties
Approach the casualty kneeling down and check whether they are conscious. Using a firm tone, ask them to open their eyes if they can. If there is no visible response, tap them gently and see if they respond. If the casualty is conscious, reassure them and listen carefully to any information they give you about their condition.
If the casualty is unconscious, you will need to check their airways, breathing and circulation.
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