First Aid For Road Accident: All You Need To Know

By Nupur Jha

Every year millions of people die in accidents across the world and many get seriously injured. The astonishing number of deaths caused due to these accidents can be lowered if the injured people can be provided with first aid on time before the arrival of the ambulance and other emergency services.

It is very crucial to know how to provide the basic first aid for one and all, it is lifesaving in case of emergencies. In this article, we will talk about the basic things to do when someone gets injured due to accidents.

first aid treatment for road accidents

Here are the things to do when you see someone who has met with a road accident:

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If The Casualty Is Unconscious And Breathing:

If the person is breathing and unconscious and not wounded, place the person in the recovery position. This position aids in preventing the unconscious casualty from choking.

Here's how to place someone in recovery position:

  • Make the person lie on the floor on their back and you kneel on the floor beside the person.
  • If the person has a ring on the hand turn it inwards to avoid them from hurt by it in anyway.
  • Now place the arm of the person which is nearer to you in a right angle position such that the elbow is bent and pointing upwards.
  • Now you hold the other hand of the casualty such that your palm is facing his/her palm and place the hand below the opposite cheek of the person.
  • Use your other hand to reach the person's knee which is away from you. Pull the knee up in such a way that the leg of the casualty is bent such that their foot is lying flat on the floor.
  • Now gently pull the knee towards your side in such a way that the person rolls over.
  • The bent leg which is closer to you needs to be positioned in front of their body in a resting position, doing so will help in balancing the body of the person.
  • Now, while the casualty is lying on the floor in this position, you need to carefully tilt his/her head a bit towards the back. Doing so will help in opening up their airway and aid the person to breathe properly.
  • Do check that their airway is not blocked by anything like food or other substances. If you find anything blocking the airway try removing it carefully.

If The Casualty Is Unconscious And Not Breathing:

If the person who met with the accident is unconscious and not breathing properly call an ambulance and give that person CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) immediately.

Here's how to give CPR:

  • Make the person lie on his/her back, open the airway and lift the chin of the casualty by slightly tilting the head towards the back.
  • Check the person's airways carefully to check for any object blocking the airway of the person.
  • Now carefully check the breathing of the person for about 10 seconds, if there is no breathing you need to give CPR to the person.
  • Place both your hands on top of each other, then place them in the middle of the person's chest and utilise the mass of your body to give the CPR. Give him/her compressions which are at least 2-inches deep and at a pace of 100 compressions/minute. You will have to give a set of 30 chest compressions to the person after which you will have to give rescue breaths.
  • While giving rescue breaths to the person, pinch the nose tightly and place your mouth over the casualty's mouth in a way that you seal it properly. This way your breath is able to reach the person's chest and aids in reviving him/her.
  • The chest of the person should rise while you provide him/her the initial rescue breath, if that doesn't happen, you should re-tilt the head of the person properly before giving the second rescue breath. If the chest still doesn't rise there are chances that the casualty is choking.
  • Continue performing the CPR till the person starts breathing again or some help arrives. You can ask the by-standers for help too if any.
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If There Are Open Wounds:

If you come across an accident victim who has open wounds, here's what you need to do:

  • If you find the casualty with open wounds you need to stop the person from bleeding. Try to cover the wound by using a cloth and apply pressure on the wounded area.
  • Use your palms to stop the bleeding instead of your fingertips.
  • Use gloves or sanitize your hands if possible to avoid the chances of infecting the open wounds of the casualty.
  • Try your best in keeping the person warm post accident, especially if she/he is bleeding profusely.
  • Call an ambulance immediately in case of emergency.
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If There Are Fractures:

The symptoms of fractures are dislocated limbs, bones sticking out of the body, deformity, swelling, bruising, skin discolouration/blue colour in the affected region and tenderness in the injured area. You can detect hip fracture if the person is facing a problem in putting the entire weight on the affected side.

  • If they are bleeding, apply pressure to the wound or wrap the wound with a clean cloth.
  • In case you suspect a fracture, immobilize the area and try to help the victim stay as still as possible.
  • Apply ice packs to the affected area to help with the pain and reduce swelling.
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If There Are Neck Injuries:

  • Stiffness in the neck, severe pain in the neck, etc., are some symptoms to detect neck injury.
  • If you detect that the neck of the person is dislocated do not attempt to move the person as it is a sign of head/neck injury. You can also keep the person still with the help of towels on both sides of the neck.

If There Is Spinal Cord Injury:

If the victim has a head/neck injury and is in and out of consciousness, or complains of numbness or paralysis, or the neck is twisted, you can suspect a spinal cord injury.

  • Don't move the victim as doing so would cause additional damage to the injury. Try keeping the casualty still and try to prevent too much neck movement of the injured person to avoid more damage to the spine. Also try to keep the neck, body and legs aligned.
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In Case Of Heart Attack:

If the casualty is experiencing pain in his/her chest at the left or centre it can be a symptom of heart attack. Pain in the back, jaw and feeling pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, are some of the other symptoms of heart attack.

  • Call the ambulance on seeing any of these symptoms in the casualty.
  • Make the person feel comfortable and give him/her a 300 mg aspirin tablet to chew slowly, make sure the person is not allergic to the medicine and don't give it to anyone below 16 years of age.
  • Provide CPR to any victim whose condition deteriorates, keep a check on his/her breathing and also call the ambulance or emergency service again.
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In Case Of A Stroke:

In case the casualty is suffering from a stroke he/she will portray symptoms such as weakness in the arms, lack of strength in the face or eyes of the person, lack of clarity in their speech are the symptoms of a person suffering from a stroke.

  • Call the ambulance as soon as possible as a stroke is a medical emergency and the sooner the treatment is given, the lesser the damage.
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If There Are Burns:

  • If the road accident victim gets burned, remove any clothing or jewel from the skin and put the skin under cool running water for at least ten minutes or till the pain of the person soothes.
  • Call an ambulance in case it is not possible to provide the person with any help.
  • Use a clean dry cloth to cover the burn loosely, you can also use a cling film if it's available.
  • Be careful while putting the burnt skin of babies, children and elderly people under running cool water as there are chances they may suffer from a condition caller hypothermia in which the body loses heat more quickly than it generates heat. You might have to stop cooling the burn to avoid this condition from occurring.
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    Story first published: Thursday, September 6, 2018, 18:00 [IST]
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