First Aid On The Road
This information should be useful for the theory element of the Driving Test
For those with no First Aid training
First Aid is a skilled application of accepted principles of treatment of any injury or illness, using facilities or materials available at the time. It is an approved method of treating a casualty until placed in the care of a doctor or other skilled aid or removed to hospital
Your responsibility ends when the casualty is handed over to the care of trained First Aider, a nurse, a doctor or other appropriate persons.
At the scene of a road accident you should: -
Ensure the safety of yourself and the casualty, further collisions and fire are the dangers in a road accident. Switch your own hazard lights on. Switch off the ignition of any vehicle involved. Impose a 'No Smoking' ban.
Instruct someone to control the traffic, and keep back any crowds.
Send someone to call the emergency services, make sure they know the exact location of the accident, the number of vehicles and casualties involved. Make sure this person reports back to you to ensure that a message has been sent to the emergency services.
Give the casualty confidence; talk to them, listen to them, reassure them.
If a casualty remains in the vehicle you should not move them unless further danger is threatened.
If Casualty Breathing has stopped
Check for consciousness, kneel by the casualty and tell them who you are and ask them a question. If there is no reply, gently shake the shoulders and if there is still no response, assume they are unconscious. In an unconscious casualty, the protective mechanism (glottis), which prevents food or fluid entering the windpipe, does not function. There is then a danger of saliva, blood, or sick entering the windpipe. Also, if an unconscious casualty is left lying on their back the tongue will fall to the back of the throat and block the airway. Remove any obvious obstruction in the casualty's mouth. Keep the head tilted backwards as far as possible See diagram on the right - breathing may then begin. This can be done even if the casualty is trapped in the vehicle.
If the casualty is still not breathing, pinch the nostrils together, keep the head tilted back and begin to blow into the mouth until the chest rises; withdraw, then repeat once every four seconds until the casualty can breathe unaided. You may have to do this until the Emergency Services arrive.
Crash helmets should not be removed because they can act as a splint for the skull, or the casualty could have a broken spine or neck. Only remove to control bleeding or free the victim's airway.
If bleeding is present the total quantity of blood circulating in the body of an average adult is 10 to 11 pints (approximately 6 litres). When a lot of blood is lost, the vital organs are deprived of fresh supplies of oxygen, and shock develops. Apply firm hand pressure over the wound, preferably using clean material, without pressing on any foreign body in the wound. Secure a pad with a bandage. If dealing with a limb, raise in the air to lessen the bleeding, but don't do this if you think the limb is broken.
Get them in a recovery position as soon as possible. To do this: -
Ensure the jaw is lifted and the head is back.
Place the arm nearest you as if making a "STOP!" gesture (or raising a hand in a school lesson, but NOT straight - bent through 90 degrees), with palm facing upwards.
Bring the arm furthest from you over the casualty's chest. Hold the hand at the face palm outwards.
With your other hand, bend the leg furthest from you and just above the knee and place the foot on the floor.
Supporting the hand at the face and placing a hand on the leg, roll the casualty towards you until the knee touches the ground. Use your knee to prevent the casualty slipping too far forward.
Ensure that the head is tilted back to leave an open airway.
Adjust the positioning of the leg so that the casualty is stable and will not move any further.
Check breathing, don't leave the casualty alone.
Reassurance until help arrives. Prompt treatment will minimise shock. Reassure the casualty, avoid unnecessary movement, keep the casualty comfortable, and prevent them getting cold. Do not leave a casualty alone.
Give the casualty NOTHING to eat or drink. They may need an operation when they get to hospital.
Carry a first Aid kit Car first aid kits can be bought from most car accessory shops or local chemists, or you can make one up yourself. All you need to do this is a: -
Plastic box-to put the contents of your first aid kit in.
Disposable gloves-to protects against infection. At the scene of an accident, you are unlikely to be able to wash your hands before treating anyone.
Six individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings-for smaller cuts and grazes.
Alcohol-free wipes - to clean small wounds
Two medium-sized sterile dressing approx. 10 cm x 8 cm ( Standard Dressing No 8 )
One triangular bandage (if possible sterile, if not , a sterile covering appropriate for serious wounds)
Sandwich bags - for enclosing burns
Six safety pins
Container of water
More on First Aid for Emergency Situations
Why not Learn First Aid from a qualified organisation, such as the St John Ambulance Association and Brigade, St Andrew's Ambulance Association, British Red Cross Society or any other suitably qualified body.