3 things to say to accident victims if you are first on the scene

Accident scenes present many different challenges when trying to attend to the crash victims and get the necessary help. One such challenge is communication – you can either get lost in translation thanks to a language barrier, or the victim could be injured and unresponsive. Either way, there is critical information that is needed to ensure the correct handling of the scene. With help from our friends at Arrive Alive, we were able to put together a series of tips to help you handle an accident scene a little better – whether you’re a victim or first to arrive at the scene.

In the first part of this series, we look at steps to help you determine the safest way to provide assistance without causing further harm:

  1. If the accident victims are conscious and responsive, first assure them that help is on the way and that you are there to assist them until the paramedics arrive.
  2. Once you have comforted them with the assurance of help, tell them to stay still as moving around could aggravate any injuries they may have sustained from the crash.
  3. If possible, get as much medical information from them as possible to assist the paramedics as soon as they arrive. This may not be imperative for the first responder, however, it does help the paramedics to have it immediately available.

To guide you in collecting the right medical information, you can use the acronym "SAMPLE" that is generally used by paramedics and other medical professionals:

  • S – Signs and symptoms: what injury signs and symptoms is the victim experiencing, e.g. nausea, pain etc.? If there is pain, where is it felt and how severe is it?
  • A – Allergies: is the victim allergic to any medication or sulphur (the morphine given for pain relief contains sulphate)?
  • M – Medication: is the victim taking any medication - chronic or short-term?
  • P – Previous medical history: what is the victim’s past medical history – do they have previous operations, a surgical history or illness etc. that the medical professionals should be aware of when rescuing them from the accident?
  • L – Last meal eaten or last oral intake: what was the last thing they consumed orally – food or drink – and when?
  • E – Events leading up to the incident: can they remember anything before the accident? Was the victim feeling dizzy, did they blackout or were they distracted in any way?

The reality is, accidents can happen anywhere and at any time – sometimes help isn’t within reach. Even with tips like the above, one is sometimes not always able to provide the necessary assistance or even call for help. For instances such as those, Emergency Alert is exactly the help you need – it will be able to trigger a call for help on your behalf should you not be able to.

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