Trauma is not only upsetting but intensely painful, leaving the victim powerless both physically and emotionally. It can be a minor injury from simple fall at home or a terrible accident on the road and immediate medical help may not be available always. However, in an emergency, don’t be a spectator.As a common man, understand your responsibility to stand up and lend a helping hand, until the patient is taken to the hospital.
As per American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, around the world injury is responsible for more than 5 million deaths per year. Many millions more are injured. The events which result in injury are not random or unpredictable. Road traffic crashes kill 1.2 million people annually around the world (3242 people a day) 90% of these deaths are in low or middle income countries. Predicted to become the third largest contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020.
Know what, when and how to do in times of trauma
Find below, some of the common traumatic experiences and their specific first aid approach.
Unconscious patient –
- Tap or shake the patient’s shoulder. If he or she doesn’t respond in two minutes, call 102 (or Dial Sunshine -8008108108)
- Meanwhile, open the patient’s airway by tilting his/her head backwards and lifting chin up
- Observe the patient’s chest and nose. If breathing or heartbeat has stopped, perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
- First, nip the patient’s nose closed. Take a regular breath;cover the victim’s mouth with yours; and then give 2 one-second breaths whilelooking out for the chest to rise
- Follow up with 30 chest compressions. Place the heel of your one hand over the centre of the patient’s chest, between the nipples. With another hand placed on top of the first and keeping your elbows straight, push down (compress) on the chest at least 2 inches. Replicate the process of two breaths and 30 compressions until there are signs of movement. Once the breathing is restored, log roll the patient to one side
- Note- If you have been trained in CPR, clear airway and perform rescue breathing. Or else, continue with the compressions until the medical aid arrives.
Bleeding – Accidental cuts or wounds are common and may lead to severe bleeding at times. In such a scenario, take the following actions.
- Take out any dirt or debris from the wound and wash it with soap and water. Have the injured person lie down
- Ensure to raise the injured part above the heart to slow bleeding. For example, wound on arm or limb.
- Stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure on the wound with a clean cloth, gauze piece or tissue. If blood soaks through the bandage, use additional cloth but do not remove the previous layer of material
- In case of swelling, put ice over the bruises.