Saturday, March 21, 2009

Over view of Road traffic accidents and its first aid

Road traffic accidents are increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world. Accidents are the common cause of death among the age group of below 40 years. Patttern of injury varies considerably depending up on whether the victim is a vehicle occupant,a motor cyclist, a pedal cyclist, or a pedestrian. Accident rate in India is much higher compared to other countries, and that of Kerala it is 8% more compared to India

Accident deaths are divided in to three catogeries.

1.Immediately after the accident.In this group head injury is the most common cause of death.

2.Within four hours after the occurrence of accident. This period is known as Golden hour. Majority of the death occurring in this period is due to blood loss.If proper first aid is given ,they can be saved.

3.Death within three weeks due to multisystem failure.

First aid in road traffic accident is given in the following order ie. airway, breathing, circulation,Bandage,splintage, and transport.

AIRWAY-Examine mouth and nose carefully, look for objects obstructing the airway like artificial dentures,dirt etc.

BREATHING (pulmonary resuscitation) Look for any signs of breathing, with the help of chest movement, stethescope etc. If found absent, go for a mouth to mouth or a mouth to nose resuscitation (if the mouth cannot be opened or if there is injury to the mouth) at a rate of 12 breaths per minute.

CIRCULATION: Examine the radial pulse,if it is absent,look for carotid pulse.Suppose this is also not palpable,then we can make sure that heart is not functioning(cardiac arrest)Do cardiac massage.This is to be done in 72 times /minute.cardiac massage and pulmonary resuscitaion should be performed alternately in the ratio of 4:1.It is useless to continue this process for more than 5-8 minutes.Once heart starts functioning patient is to be kept in semi prone position.

Bandage and splintage: completely cover the wounds with the help of pads and bandages. Give proper support for the fractured parts. Sling/splints can be used for this purpose.

Things to be taken care in road accidents ...
Switch off the ignition of the vehicle after the accident. Otherwise it may flare up the vehicle .

In case, lot persons are involved in the accident. Persons who require immediate medical attention should be given priority. This priority wise separation of the injured persons by means of colour cord known as Triage.This can be done by an expert only. In case of shock, foot end should be raised.

Futher, examine, the head eyes,nose, ear,ribs,hips,extreimities for any injuries. Pain and any unnatural movement of ribs, hip should be noticed, which may be an indication of fracture. Make the victim to lie in semi prone position and examine the spinal cord and cervical spine. Fractured part of the spine may press the spinal cord resulting in paralysis. So always take utmost care in handling such kind of persons. All examinations to be finished in two minutes .

Bleeding from Multiple fractures, lacerated wounds are to be taken care of, because it may lead to severe internal hemorrhage and shock. Never try to pull out any object that got trapped in the body, because of the same reason.

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