You go on a motorcycle quietly, enjoying the road, the landscape, the feeling of freedom, and out of nowhere, you meet a fellow accident.
Would you know what you have to do? How would you act?
The desire to help without basic knowledge can get us into a problem
Today I want to focus on this issue since it is a likely situation in which Acting right or wrong can be the difference between life and death.
First aid courses
The best way and what I recommend to everyone is to do as I did, and attend a first aid course since what is taught in them can save the life of a relative, a friend or a stranger at any time and place. In them they teach you how remove a casualty properly from a vehicle when the situation requires it, how to remove a helmet minimizing risk(and how to know when to remove it), how to do the Heimlich maneuver or make a cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR). But this is already advanced knowledge that require to be taught by professionals and after them comes an accreditation and legal responsibilities.
Helicopter attending a traffic accident.
Let’s not think that this is the only thing we can do, in fact, there are many other things that are part of the help gear in an accident, and that although they seem secondary, they are the key to making the whole process more efficient. I want to focus on this and for this, I am going to give you some key points to streamline the entire process of action in an accident.
In a motorcycle accident: First protect, protect yourself
The first thing we have to burn in our minds is the acronym “PAS” that refer to “Protect”, “warn” and “help”. When we get to an accident, whatever the situation, always, the first thing is to protect ourselves, that is, stop the motorcycle in a place as safe as possible and take as many security measures as possible, for example, if we have a reflective vest or a jacket that has reflective, it is advisable to have them on to make it easier for them to see us. The main thing is not to cause a second accident and to protect our safety above all..
Notifying by phone after an accident.
Report the accident
Thereafter, whatever the level of medical knowledge we have, we must notify 112. In addition to making things easier, it is good know where we are exactly to avoid delays. Use the GPS or mobile to see exactly where you are, if you don’t know a kilometer point, look between which two towns you are. Also check if the area is suitable for landing a helicopter and also informs, if not, surely they will also have to send an ambulance to transfer the injured to an area that is. While we make the call, you have to take a first look at the injured, attending to key details to elucidate its severity.
Are you conscious? Do you have open wounds? Do you bleed? Do you have limb mobility deficits? Do you have signs of difficulty in breathing? Where do you seem to have hit? (marks on clothing or helmet) Are you disoriented?
With this data, we will be able to offer extremely valuable information to the emergency services within our possibilities.
Assistance in a motorcycle accident
As for care, here it depends a bit on the level of health training we have, the basic and key rule is, if you don’t know, don’t touch. In this case, what we can do is cover the wounded and protect him as best as possible.
If we have the necessary knowledge, (if not, what was said, DO NOT TOUCH) it would be convenient always put in a lateral safety position with help and doing it en bloc to avoid worsening possible spinal or spinal cord injuries. On the other hand, if the injured person has suffered a limb amputation, you will only have an extremely few minutes to bleed out, so knowingly or not a tourniquet will need to be made immediately with what we have on hand, even our t-shirt is worth it. A tourniquet is very serious and should only be carried out in a situation as extreme as an amputation., if on the contrary the wound is not life threatening, we can applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.
Red Cross paramedics treating a wounded man.
Safety at the accident site
Another key part, which is as important as caring for and preparing the casualty, is manage site security. For this it is important that one person or group of people is placed in a safe area with good visibility before the accident and another group or person does the same after the accident, so that they can notify other road users of its existence in order to avoid scares, swings and, ultimately, another accident. I say it as a group for a simple reason, if we see that there are many people at the scene of the accident, sending several people instead of just one to those places will decongest the area (if there are many people, we can also tell them to continue his departure). And although by car it might be worth placing the regulatory triangles or V-16 emergency lights, on a motorcycle we do not usually have them so it is necessary to notify manually.
Needless to say, the best is someone take control of the situation, multiple opinions can make the process slow. The moment a health worker, doctor or an authority such as the Civil Guard or Police arrives, we must do two things, either we make ourselves available to them, or we get out of the way. Normally they will always come in handy with some extra hands to help them, but if not, we should step aside so as not to get in the way.
Paramedics attending to an injured motorist.
As a detail to the rest of the road users, we can also take advantage when the environment is safe (for example, that the Civil Guard or Police is already controlling the passage of other vehicles) to, with the permission of the authority, proceed to remove debris from the road as well as alleviate possible oil stains with dirt. I would not do these without the permission of the authority as we may be modifying the scene, thus making the investigation of the accident difficult.
Final clarification: I am not a doctor, but in order to provide truthful and verified information, all the text has been reviewed and approved by Dr. San Martín, head of the Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology Service of the Quirón San José Hospital in Madrid.