What you should do when you arrive at an accident scene.

As a first responder, the first thing you should do upon arriving at an accident scene is to check for any hazards to yourself, casualties or bystanders. A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm. 

This may somehow look weird to do first, surely your first priority should be to help your casualty? Whilst this seems common sense, it is actually the wrong thing to do.

The most important thing is your own safety. The reason for this is simple, you can’t provide help if you become a victim yourself! Assessing the area will enable you to help others and get time to analyze the complete situation with a better viewpoint.

It is important for first aiders and first responders to follow these simple steps that could prevent the situation from becoming worse.

  • Park safely and ensure the car engine is off.
  • Use the triangle to inform other motorists to slow down or use an alternative route
  • Wear high visibility clothing
  • Contact the traffic police officers

If the scene is too dangerous to approach, the best thing to do is to stay at a safe distance and call for help from an emergency service operator. 

Once the area is safe, treat anyone with life threatening injuries first and call an ambulance immediately. Treat the casualties in the position you find them unless there’s eminent danger. At this point, it is important to remember that one might not realize that they have an injury immediately. In most occasions, the adrenaline that pumps in during the accident might mask the degree of your injuries and the pain involved.

If the victim has is breathing, check his mouth for any obstruction. Use your index and middle finger to clear the airway and Place him/her in the recovery position.

If there is no pulse and the victim is unresponsive and not breathing, perform CPR where you give chest compressions and rescue breaths. However due to COVID-19 avoid rescue breaths unless you have a face shield or the casualty is well known to you.

Treat bleeding by applying continuous pressure to the open wound using a clean cloth or soft pad. Press down with your palms and let the casualty raise the arms above the heart

Neck and spinal injuries are expected in a road accident. If the victim is unconscious or the neck is not normally placed, it’s best to not move the victim unless they are in immediate danger. Rough handling or moving the victim with suspected neck and spinal injuries can cause more harm.

To assist in a fatal road accidents, it is strongly advised that you complete a practical first aid course. It is important for everyone to learn the basics of first aid. Learn how to save lives when seconds matter with simple skills that can be learned in just a few hours.