Dr. Balakrishna Vedulla
MBBS, DEM, MRCEM
Consultant- Emergency Medicine – HOD
Apollo Hospitals, Visakhapatnam
Check Yourself For Injuries
If you have met with an accident, first check yourself for any injuries. See how well you can move your limbs, bear weight on them, also see if you experience symptoms such as dizziness. You need to be fit enough to help others.
Check The Other Person(s) For Injuries
If other people are injured, first assess the extent of their injuries. Treat the quietest person first; they are usually more seriously injured or cannot breathe. People who can talk or shout, on the other hand, can breathe therefore can be treated a little later. Ask for the person’s name; if they respond, it means they are able to comprehend the situation and have most likely not suffered a severe head injury.
Look For Signs of Breathing
Check if the person is breathing and if they have a pulse.
Check for Obstructions In The Person’s Mouth and Throat
If you do not hear any breath sounds, check his/her mouth for any obstructions. If there is something obstructing the airway, use your index and middle finger to clear the airway.
Call for Help
Immediately call for an ambulance or rush the injured to a hospital. Once you know more about the patient’s condition you will in a better position to tell the doctors about their condition.
Perform Life Saving Procedures
If there is no pulse, start CPR. Keep the person flat on their back with the neck straight to start of CPR. If there is bleeding from the mouth or, if the person is vomiting, turn them to their side. This will avoid any chances of the person choking. Place the person’s arm that is under them straight out and the other arm across their chest, if there is nothing to support the head and neck while putting the person in this Recovery Position.
Deal with Open Wounds
If there are extensive wounds, try and stem the hemorrhage by applying pressure to the area using a clean cloth. Always apply pressure with the palms, not fingertips.
Always Suspect Spinal Injuries
If the injured person is not moving or if they are in an awkward position, DO NOT move them without proper help and support. Get help immediately. They may have suffered a spinal trauma and moving them in this condition without properly assessing and immobilizing will put them in grave danger.
Usually, accident victims feel excessively cold due to shock. Therefore keeping them warm is of utmost important to survival. You can use whatever you have to do this, such as a Shirt, Cloth Sheet, Jacket etc.
Avoid Feeding The Injured
DO NOT give the person any water, food or other fluids through the mouth, it could lead to them choking.