8 Things to do at the Scene of an Accident
Usually, the first person on the scene of an accident is unlikely to be a trained professional. However, they are still critical to the outcome for the people involved in the incident, and possibly for helping to recover casualties.
Here is a list of things to do if you find yourself at the scene of an accident:
1. The very first thing you have to do is to ensure your own safety.
Is it safe for you to be around the accident scene? You cannot help anyone if you are injured or compromised in any way as well.
2. If driving, stop in a safe place, with your hazard lights on.
Put a warning triangle at a fair distance back from the scene to alert motorists to the possible danger ahead. This will give them enough time to slow down safely.
3. Look around the scene for any possible hazards.
These may include petrol or diesel leaks, fire, oncoming traffic, dangerous animals or even hostile bystanders.
The hazard involved in the accident could still be a danger to the casualty, as well as other people nearby, and even yourself as the first responder. You therefore need to make sure the area is safe before you begin administering first aid. For example, if it’s a road traffic accident, you may need to try to block traffic, while if the incident involved a machine, it will need switching off.
In the case of a fire accident, it is always wise to keep your distance from the source of the fire, as there’s no telling when an explosion might occur. If you are going to take pictures or videos of the accident, do it from a safe distance.
Check out this video of how bystanders were hit unexpectedly by an explosion from a burning vehicle https://www.instagram.com/p/B39Q-brgirR/?igshid=1grtr3mz8yofq
4. Assess the scene and see if there are people injured.
If there is, make sure that you phone for help. Remember to give the operator your number in case the call gets cut off.
5. When you call for help, make sure you have the location of the incident handy.
If you are not sure of the exact location, look for the nearest intersection or any large landmark that would be helpful in describing your surroundings to the operator.
6. Give the operator a brief description of the scene.
Try to describe the number of injured patients and the nature of their injuries.
7. Do not move an injured person.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, as you may cause further injuries, especially if the person has suffered spinal injuries. Rather try to keep injured people calm by talking to them and reassuring them that help is on the way.
8. If there is heavy bleeding.
Try to stop the bleeding by compressing the wound with a clean towel or piece of clothing.
Just as there are things you should keep in mind in order to help, there are things you should not do. Never touch an open wound or any bodily fluids of another person if you do not have the necessary protective gear such as gloves, face masks, and eye goggles.
And if a patient has a foreign object impaled anywhere in their bodies, do not remove it unless absolutely necessary.
Call for emergency medical services as soon as you arrive to the scene and assist where required.