The correct answer to this question is true. You shouldn’t move an injured person until medical assistance arrives with their first aid kit at the scene.
If you aren’t a qualified and experienced medic, attempting to move an injured person can increase their injuries and prolong their recovery.
Let’s discuss the best way to handle an injured person.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the only Situation in which a Victim should be Moved
- 2 Log Roll
- 3 How can Providing First Aid Care be Hazardous for the Person Providing the Assistance?
- 4 When would you Place a victim in the Recovery Position?
- 5 When a Victim is bleeding, the First thing you should do Before Starting First Aid is…
- 6 When Carrying a Patient Up or Down Stairs, You Should Avoid
- 7 Can You Survive a Broken neck?
- 8 How can Neck Injuries be Fatal?
- 9 Finally
What is the only Situation in which a Victim should be Moved
As we’ve seen above, you need to avoid moving injured people as much as possible.
However, some severe situations call for an emergency move and this is where you need tips on what to do to save the patient.
First, you want to keep from lifting the patient off the ground.
Dragging the victim by their legs or arms would be the better option.
While you’re moving them, make sure the body is well-positioned.
One of the safest first aid lifts is the blanket lift. To execute this appropriately, six people should be involved.
Here are other safe first aid methods you can use to move a patient.
Choose this method if the victim’s legs are injured.
Bend low and lift the patient’s arms to create a space for you to clasp and hold them tight at the elbows.
Leverage on their body weight to pull them to safety.
The Leg Drag
You need to rule out any leg injuries first before using this method.
Bend low and firmly clasp the patient’s ankles.
Lean back and leverage body weight to drag the victim to safety.
This method requires that you have something hard and supportive nearby that would allow you to roll the victim onto the item and move them to safety (an example of this would be a piece of wood).
You’ll need multiple people for this move and need to make sure that the injured person’s spine is straight while they are being moved onto the support item.
The clothing drag method comes in handy when you’re carrying injured person.
This method is critical when it comes to avoiding direct traction on the body.
There are, however, drawbacks.
For instance, the clothing can tear and cause the patient more harm.
Using the previously mentioned methods comes in handy to cut down the risk of causing more injury.
To use this method you’ll need sturdy clothing which you should place under the patient’s armpits.
Bend and lean back as you pull the clothing until you manage to move the patient to safety.
How can Providing First Aid Care be Hazardous for the Person Providing the Assistance?
Offering first aid can be dangerous for the provider if the victim is suffering from a contagious disease.
Getting into contact with body fluids such as lymph and blood can expose first responders to the risk of contracting diseases.
Depending on the cause of injury in the first place and assuming the same conditions still exist, the providers could be at risk of suffering a similar fate as the victim.
When would you Place a victim in the Recovery Position?
If you notice that the victim is unconscious but breathing, you may want to physically analyze them to establish signs of any severe conditions.
If you can’t find any, then you could place them in a recovery position.
Doing so is critical because it keeps their airway open, clear, and prevents choking.
Once the victim is lying on their back, you’ll want to kneel by their side and:
- Stretch their arm close to you. Ensure their palm is facing upwards and their arm is alongside their body.
- Fold the other arm to ensure that the backside of their hand is on the cheek next to you and hold it down
- With your free hand, bend the victim’s knee to a right angle furthest from you
- Pull the bent knee and roll the victim so that they lie on their side. Exercise caution while doing this.
- Make sure that the victim’s bent arm reinforces the head while their extended arm acts as a barrier to prevent them from rolling further than intended
- Their bent leg should be at the appropriate angle
- To open their airway, you want to move their head backward and raise their chin to check and see whether anything is clogging the airway.
- Monitor the victim until medical help arrives
When a Victim is bleeding, the First thing you should do Before Starting First Aid is…
If you come across a bleeding victim, the first thing you should do is dial 911 or any other emergency number to call for help immediately.
Remember, at that moment the victim will be tense and there are some things you can do to keep them calm until help finally arrives.
First, however, before proceeding to the scene of the accident, it’s always advisable to make sure that the environment is safe for you – lest you end up getting injured too.
If there are no signs of danger, get close to the victim and talk to them.
Let them know that help is on the way and that they need to stay calm to avoid further injury.
If the situation gets worse before help arrives, you may want to:
Clear the Wound of any Waste or Clothing
Check the victim’s wound for any waste or clothing.
Don’t attempt to remove anything from the wound if it’s deep inside.
Doing so can escalate the bleeding.
Always wear protective gloves when handling bleeding accident victims.
Try to Stop the Bleeding
Place a sterile bandage on the wound.
If you can’t find a first aid kit, you can use a clean cloth.
With your palm, press the wound firmly to control the bleeding.
Apply steady pressure until the bleeding finally stops.
Use a piece of cloth or a thick bandage to secure the wound.
Never apply pressure if there’s a deep object in the wound.
If the victim has an eye injury, you may want to wait until a qualified medic arrives.
Assist the Injured Person to Lie Down
If you can, help the victim lie down on a blanket or a piece of cloth.
This will help them maintain body heat.
Never Attempt to Remove the Bandage
Sometimes the wound will be too deep and blood will seep through the bandage secured on the wound.
If this happens, don’t try to remove it.
Rather, add more bandages and maintain pressure constantly.
A tourniquet is a gadget that compresses a limp with a tight bandage or cord to stop blood flow through an artery or vein.
It can come in handy to control severe bleeding.
You can use these on a victim only if you’re qualified and experienced in doing so.
Remember, the medical personnel will want to know how long the patient has had the tourniquet.
In this case, you’ll want to get your timing right.
As you wait for medical help, make sure the victim doesn’t move the wounded part unnecessarily.
Doing so can cause more injury and pain.
When Carrying a Patient Up or Down Stairs, You Should Avoid
In the line of duty, an emergency medical technician encounters many things.
One of the most challenging tasks they have to execute is carrying a patient up the stairs.
Here are tips to ease the task.
- Get help when carrying heavy patients up the stairs. Two people should carry the patient shoulder to shoulder while another two people should hold the bottom of the stretcher.
- Carry patients feet first when going down the stairs and head first when going up the stairs
- Ensure your back maintains the locked in position
- If the patient can use a stair chair, carrying them becomes much easier. You can use a strong yet light kitchen chair in the absence of a stair chair and an extremity lift if neither the kitchen chair nor the stair chair is available.
- Keep the patient’s weight and arm closest to your body
- Bend at the hips and knees as opposed to the waist
Can You Survive a Broken neck?
Breaking your neck is not a death sentence.
However, if the injury extends to the spinal cord it can be fatal.
Christopher Reeve, known as the famous superman actor, at some point suffered a broken neck that caused him to become quadriplegic.
The only reason he survived the injury was that medics discovered the problem early in advance and treated him appropriately and fast.
When the neck breaks, three injuries are likely to occur – as seen below.
Fractured Vertebra where the Spinal Cord isn’t affected
A fracture in the vertebra can be treated with or without surgery depending on the severity of the injury.
If there’s a dislocation, for instance, the victim will need to go through surgery.
Fractured Vertebra with Partial Injury on the Spinal Cord
Different syndromes can emanate from this condition.
They are: the central cord syndrome, brown-Sequard syndrome, and the anterior cord syndrome.
Fractured Vertebra with Spinal Cord Injury
If immediately after the neck injury the patient lacks movement below the injury level, this is not enough to render them paralyzed.
The medics will need to wait for a period between 24 to 72 hours to give the bulbocavernosus reflex enough time to complete.
The medics will then proceed to analyze the patient’s neurological status.
In the event the spinal cord is seriously damaged, quadriplegia or paralysis (which could be partial or total) may occur.
The patient will have no sensation or movement below the injury once the bulbocavernosus reflex ends.
However, assuming the injury is above or at the C4 level, the patient’s diaphragm and breathing will be affected.
On the other hand, if cervical spine injury occurs below C4 the victim will be paralyzed but their breathing won’t be severely affected.
How can Neck Injuries be Fatal?
- A victim of a car accident is likely to die from injuries associated with neck injuries such as liver, head, spleen, pelvis, and lung injury. When you’re attending to an injured person, assess their airway, breathing, and circulation (ABC) to ascertain any other possible injuries. Where possible, having basic first aid training comes in handy. Every person should strive to attend basic first aid training or seminars.
- Paralysis of the diaphragm can cause deprivation of oxygen in patients, a condition which is also called asphyxiation. In such a case, the patient will need intubation, a process where a tube is inserted in the victim’s body to facilitate artificial ventilation.
- The cervical spine can have different fractures at various levels. If you have to transport the patient, exercise caution to avoid causing further injury. Remember, you should immobilize the spine appropriately using a cervical collar. This comes in handy to reduce the patient’s pain and aid healing.
- Neurogenic shock may occur. This is a type of distributive shock that occurs due to low blood pressure and is characterized by a slowed heart rate, resulting from interruption of the independent pathways found in the spinal cord. This can occur due to spinal cord injury.
Accidents are common and chances are that at some point you’ll witness one where you’ll need to help the victims.
When faced with such a situation, many people will panic, and perhaps wonder how to help.
One thing to make sure and remember is that, when possible, you should not try to move accident victims from the scene.
Dial 911 and call for help.
Before help arrives, keep the victims as calm as possible.
More helpful reading:
- How to Tell if a Snake is Poisonous or Not (Identify Non Venomous vs Most Dangerous)
- Wilderness Survival Kits: 10 Essentials You Should Always Bring With You Outdoors
- How to Escape a Sinking Car
- How to Choose the Best Survival Kit
- How to Create a Disaster Plan for Your Home
- Signs of a Tornado Coming: 6 Warning Signals