As a medical professional, I deal with many medical and trauma emergencies. Most trauma incidents are motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, some of those are motorcycle related. So what should the average untrained person do if they are first on scene? Here is a list of things I would love to see from a helping citizen.
- First, you need to relax. When you see Emergency Personnel on scene, you notice they are walking around and not freaking out. Do the same. Everyone trusts someone who is calm. It shows authority and it then calms everyone else.
- Talk to the patient calmly. Treat them as if it is a best friend that is angry. Talk them down. Reassure them! Most times their adrenaline is pumping and they will be confused/angry. MAKE SURE THEY DON’T MOVE! Moving is bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. If they have a broken spine, but can’t feel it, they will damage their spinal cord even more. Just let them lay down where they are and try to calm them.
- If there are others around, find someone with more medical training than you. COMMAND someone to call 911. In large groups, either everyone calls 911, or no one does. You’d be surprised on how many people assume someone else will do it.
- If the rider is breathing, DO NOT TAKE OFF THE HELMET. Leave it on. You can paralyze someone if there is a suspected spinal cord injury. Leave it in place, and wait for medical personnel to take it off. If the rider is not breathing, and you believe it is helmet related, take the helmet off carefully.
- If you are alone, now is the time to call 911 yourself. If the rider doesn’t want you to call, call anyways. The rider can always refuse service from the medical personnel when they arrive on scene. Let the dispatcher know of your location, how many people/patients that were involved, injuries, your phone number, and any other important information.
- At this point, the dispatcher will alert the nearest medical and police personnel to the scene. If you are still on the line, the dispatcher is trained to assist you in emergency care if needed. The main information that I would like to know on scene is if the patient has a pulse, breathing, and what happened. To check the pulse, use two fingers and locate the Carotid artery. It is right near the wind-pipe or “Adam’s apple.” If the pulse isn’t present, tell the dispatcher and they will assist you with instructions for CPR.
- Check breathing by looking at the chest rise and fall. For an example, look at your co-worker or family member right now. Don’t let them know you’re watching. See the chest or abdomen move? Pretty simple.
- If the rider is bleeding, try and stop it. Also very simple. You have two options. Apply immense pressure on the wound with your bare hands, or apply immense pressure to the wound with cloth. No one is going to have sterile cloth on hand, so use a shirt or something similar. I don’t recommend a belt for a “tourniquet.” Most people don’t know how to use one properly and you will most likely forget what I am typing if an emergency actually occurs. So just push hard on that wound until it stops bleeding. DON’T LET GO AFTER YOU STARTED. If you think it stopped bleeding and then remove your hands, guess what..it will start again. Just hold it till the medic gets there.
Let’s say someone else is more medically trained than you, and is working with the patient. What do you do now?
- Get all the onlookers to safety. Other drivers will slow down and stare at the wreck, and will possibly cause another one by hitting someone in the road. Keep as many people off the roadway. DONT PICK UP THE BIKE! Let the officers on scene take pictures and do their investigation.
- To help with the investigation. Start taking notes (Use a phone’s text app). Try to remember what you saw and how the accident happened. You will more than likely become a witness.
What to do when Medical and Police personnel arrive to the scene?
- This is pretty simple. We have our own way of dealing with the scene. We are on the look-out for any hazards that could harm us. Just let us know! Is there gasoline, glass, blood, etc? We want to know, and we will thank you.
- Tell us what you saw, how it happened, and what you have done since you arrived.
- We will ask you questions, or we will not. Depends on what we need. If we do not need your assistance anymore, please…please step aside somewhere safe. One thing that actually does hinder care, is someone trying to help when we have plenty of personnel on scene.
That’s it! Simple huh? Doing a handful of these things, will help in our treatment of the rider. Head on over to my YouTube channel to see more content, and remember to recommend this post!!
As with anything you read on the internet, there is always a disclaimer. I am providing this content for informational purposes only. This content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice.