Thursday, October 16, 2008

Accident first aid tips

In the event of an accident

Ensure your own safety and that you do not create additional danger

Do not cross a carriageway. Wear reflective clothing if possible. Do not smoke in cases of chemical or petrol spillage.
Ensure the safety of others

Park well clear of the accident site. Look out for physical dangers (e.g. HAZCHEM - hazardous chemical - symbols, damaged power lines or spilt fuel). Disable the vehicles involved by turning off engines and applying handbrakes.
Warn other road users

Turn your hazard lights on.
Assess the casualties

Are you or any casualty in danger? Is the casualty conscious? Is their airway open and clear? Is the casualty breathing? Is there a pulse?
ABC checks on casualties

* Airways
Tilting the casualty's head back and lifting the chin will 'open their airway'.
* Breathing
Ensure all casualties are breathing and have the ability to carry on breathing. If a casualty is not breathing, apply artificial ventilation by blowing your expelled air into the casualty's lungs.
* Circulation
If the heart has stopped (no pulse) 'chest compressions' can be applied (preferably by a qualified first aider) to force blood through the heart and around the body. They must be combined with artificial ventilation so that the blood is oxygenated (use 15 compressions to 2 breaths ratio). That will keep the body receptive to defibrillation when the emergency service arrives.

Get help

If bystanders are present, get them to phone for an ambulance at once. Otherwise, check on casualties first.
Apply life-saving first aid

Life threatening or serious injuries must be treated swiftly. It is vital that such casualties are treated first. Remember: a casualty who is screaming is less likely to be in danger than a silent or moaning casualty.

Control bleeding by applying direct pressure and, where possible, elevating injured body parts.

Cool burns by pouring cold water over them for a minimum of 20 minutes or until the casualty no longer complains of pain.
Broken bones

Advise the casualty to sit or lie still, keeping the injured part supported by a blanket or pillow until help arrives.
Give accurate info to the ambulance crew

When you dial 999, the control officer needs to know the exact location, type and seriousness of the accident; the number, sex and approximate age of casualties involved and anything you know about their condition, details of any hazards and whether any casualties are trapped.
Give reassurance & minor first aid treatment

Assure the casualty that help is on its way and remain calm yourself. Treat any minor cuts and bruises.
Treat shock

Anyone hurt in an accident is likely to suffer some degree of shock. Talk to the casualty gently and lay him/her down if necessary. Blood loss and shock display the same symptoms.
Provide warmth

Protect the casualty from cold with a coat or blanket. But it is important not to overheat the casualty so do not apply a hot-water bottle or other source of direct heat.
Consider taking a basic first aid course

Contact your local Red Cross branch for details.


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