First Aid

Correct First Aid Can Save Life

Any type of medical or non-medical aid provided to a victim before arrival of the doctor or medical assistance is termed as First Aid. The main objective of the First Aid is to stabilize the injury caused to the victim and prevent further harm in order to save his life. Correct First Aid administered to a victim within time is very important and can be helpful in saving his/her life. First Aid involves management of different types of emergency situations which can be divided into the following three categories:

  1. Trauma Emergency: Road Crashes, Violence, Stabbing, Firing etc.
  2. Medical Emergency: Cardiac Arrest, Asthma, Syncope, Choking, High or Low Blood Sugar, Seizures, and Poisoning etc.
  3. Environmental Emergency: Snake Bite, Animal Bite, Sting, Drowning, Fire etc.

The article here describes various procedures related to First Aid to be provided in case of road crashes which is considered as a Trauma Emergency. A person may suffer multiple grievous injuries due to a road crash management of which requires a designated team of specialists available in the Trauma Centre.

First Aid for Road Crash Victims

In case of a road crash, a person who is intending to help the road crash victims must adhere the following safety precautions for providing First Aid:

  1. Scene Safety: During an event of a road crash the victim remain on road. And in case if the accident has happened on highway, there is a high risk of speeding vehicles which may put life of people helping the victim in danger. Therefore, it is very important to secure the scene to prevent further loss. If it is not possible to secure the accident site, then the victims should be moved to a safer place with immediate effect. This is referred to as scene safety.
  2. Lift and Transfer: There are high chances that the road crash victim have suffered from spine injury. Therefore, Lifting and Transferring the victim should be done with utmost safety by stabilizing their cervical (neck) neck and spine.
  3. Check Response: Shout and pat on the shoulders of the victim to confirm his response. In case of no response, check breathing and pulse. In case of no response, no breathing and no pulse start CPR, which is described further in detail.
  4. Call Ambulance: Check other types of injuries such as bleeding, fractures, amputation or impaled objects. If injury is grievous, ask someone to call the ambulance immediately and start First Aid for the injury. The correct procedure to call an ambulance is as follows:
    • Where to Call: To call ambulance you may dial 108. If the accident has happened on a National Highway then 1033 may also be called. For further assistance Police also needs to be informed on 100.
    • Confirm the Number: It happens when a person witnesses the accident or present at the accident spot may get confused. In such situation, it is evident that a wrong number may be dialed. As soon as operator picks up the phone, confirm that they are calling from 108 or 1033, the whichever number you have dialed.
    • Mention Exact Location: It is essential to explain the exact location or the site of the accident. In case of the accident has occurred on a highway, communicate some landmark such as a Direction Sign Board, an Establishment, or a Milestone etc.
    • Specify Number of Victims: Do specify the number of accident victims therefore adequate assistance may be dispatched to the location and pre-intimation may be provided to the nearest hospitals or trauma centres.

First Aid in Different Situations (Road Accident)

  1. Bleeding: Control of bleeding is very important to save life. Bleeding can be internal or external. Prevention of external bleeding can be managed through First Aid but cannot be for internal bleeding. To control external bleeding pressure bandage can be applied. In case of bleeding is occurring from a limb it may be elevated if there is no fracture.
  2. Fracture: Fracture may be of two types. Open fracture or closed fracture. In open fracture bone is visible accompanied by bleeding, In closed fracture bone remains inside the body. For management of closed fracture, immobilization of the bone is to be done such as use of splint or any other hard material available at the accident site such as a piece of wood etc.
  3. Amputation: In some accident it is possible that an entire limb or a part of limb is separated from the body. In such case it is required to wash the separated body part, keep in a plastic bag and put that plastic bag in another container having cold water or ice.
  4. Impaled Object: The impaled object such as glass, parts of a vehicle, iron rod or such similar thing have penetrated the body should not be removed. Doing so may cause further loss to the victim. In such case the area surrounding the impaled object should be properly dressed and the victim should be transferred to the hospital immediately.
  5. Burn: Road crashes may also involve injuries such as burns as the vehicles collision may catch fire. In case of burn it is advised to put cold water. If water is not available, the victim should not run as instead of extinguishing fire may enhance it. Therefore, the victim should apply the method called as STOP, DROP and ROLL.

Administering Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR or the Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is done when the victim has become unconscious with no pulse and breathing. The revive functioning of the heart chest compressions are done followed by giving two rescue breathe. By such manoeuvre his heart and breathing are kept functioning artificially. This is very essential to maintain his circulatory system and providing oxygen to keep his brain and other organs alive. The steps for performing CPR are as follows:

  1. Check Response by tapping his shoulder hard and shouting near his ears. If the person does not respond check for his pulse and breathing.
  2. To ascertain his pulse, it is recommended to check Carotid Pulse (beside the throat). Look, Listen and Feel (LLF) method is used to check pulse and breathing, which is depicted in the following diagram. This should be done within 10 seconds. If no pulse and breathing is recognized, we must start CPR immediately.
  3. Position your hands on the compression point just above the sternum bone on the chest and exert pressure. Give 30 compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths by covering his mouth with a clean cloth (mouth to mouth respiration). If administration of rescue breath is not possible, continue with chest compressions. The rate of compression should be as such that 100 to 120 compressions could be given in one minute.
  4. Complete five cycles comprising 30 compressions followed by 2 rescue breathe then check the pulse. Continue the process till pulse is recognized or arrival of medical help.
  5. It is recommended that CPR should be learned properly on a practice manikin.
  6. CPR should be done by an experienced person only.
  7. The procedure for administering CPR is different for adults, children and infants and it should be practiced on different manikins properly.