WHO, Injuries are a growing problem: the three leading causes of death globally from injuries – road traffic crashes, homicide and suicide – are all predicted to rise in rank compared to other causes of death, placing them among the top 20 leading causes of death in the world by 2030. Road traffic crashes are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
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.
Limb Fractures – If you suspect that a person has broken or fractured his / her arm or leg, first observe for swelling, difficulty moving, limb looks twisted or bent, movement in unusual direction paired with hoarse noise. If all these common symptoms of fracture are confirmed, then take the following immediate actions.
o Elevate the injured limb and stop the bleeding, if any, by applying direct pressure with sterile bandage or clean cloth
o Ask the victim to stay as still as possible. Immobilize the fractured limb by tying the joints both above and below the fracture with splints (any firm objects for support). Seek medical help as soon as possible.
Spine Fractures – In case of spinal injury (head and back), the person usually complains of intense pain in the neck and back; inability to move limbs; loss of strength; numbness in the limbs and twisted back or neck. The following first aid measures should be taken until the patient is taken to the hospital.
o Try to keep the affected patient in a standstill position. You can do this by placing bulky towels on either side of the head and neck
o Ensuring zero neck movements is crucial because any activities may lead to permanent paralysis or develop other grave complications
o If the person is not breathing, perform CPR; if you observe no pulse, then give chest compressions
o If the person has injured his spine in a road accident and is wearing helmet, then do not remove the helmet
Electric Shocks –In case of electric shocks, few things are of paramount importance.
o Carefully, turn off the source of electricity
o DO NOT TOUCH the victim who is still in contact with the power source. Detach the victim from the current source by using objects made of non-conducting materials such as wood, plastic or rubber
o If the person falls unconscious, begin CPR
o In case of burns, cover the affected areas with a sterile bandage
o Ensure to stop the victim from getting chilled
Dog Bites –There is a greater risk of infection when it comes to animal bites, especially dogs. Take care to avoid the infection spreading by following the below steps.
o Stop the bleeding by placing a clean towel over the bite
o If the dog bite is on arm or leg, elevate the injured area
o With soap and water, wash the bite carefully to remove dirt and debris
Apply a sterilized bandage to the wound. However, medical help is advised.