Handling Accidents Correctly. Would you know what to do?

Medical Supplies

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, to even the most careful person. Most people are in shock if they have witnessed an accident or are a victim themselves and may be at a loss for how to handle the situation. Would you know what to do if you or a loved one was injured? Basch and Keegan serves only accident and injury victims so we have seen many of the biggest mistakes people make when reacting to emergency situations. We understand that handling accidents correctly is important.

You cut yourself while preparing food. What should you do first?

Many people will grab the first thing they can reach (e.g. A cloth dish towel) to apply pressure but you could be introducing bacteria to your wound and increase your likelihood of infection. The first thing you should do is rinse the wound thoroughly and assess the damage. Next, apply pressure with a sterile bandage or a clean paper towel. If the laceration is still bleeding after ten minutes you should seek immediate medical attention, it may require stitches.

You slip on ice walking to work. You are in pain but you can “deal with it”. Should you go into work or go to the ER?

Most injuries from slip and falls are broken wrists that cause severe and immediate pain but there are many other “soft tissue” injuries that can occur from hitting ice. A back injury might not be apparent until days later. A fall that results in a head injury might not be any more painful than a headache but could be fatal if left unattended. If you do not hit your head, and you do not land very hard, it is probably OK to continue onto work but if you feel any pain at all or you incur a head injury you need to seek medical attention immediately.

A friend’s dog bites you. What should you do?

This is a common scenario and rarely handled correctly: A dog you know well accidentally bites you. Many people think they can simply wash the wound and continue on with their day but an animal bite needs to be evaluated by an medical professional. The risk for serious infection is much higher with animal bites. If the dog spent any time alone outside you should receive a rabies shot. The dog may have encountered a wild animal recently and could have been infected without your knowledge. Even if the skin wasn’t broken, a dog’s bite is strong enough to break a bone- this is more common in children. If a child is injured by an animal they always need to be assessed by a medical professional, and the incident must be documented.

Your loved one fell through a broken deck and cannot get up. Should you help them up or wait until an ambulance arrives?

When you witness a fall you may feel the drive to immediately spring into action but it is important to assess the situation first and resist the urge to pull someone to their feet. If the victim cannot get up on their own, or have incurred a head injury it is imperative that they are not moved unless they are in danger of further injury (e.g. debris falling from the broken deck) until an ambulance arrives. Stay with the injured until help arrives. Once they are being cared for, be sure to take photos of the dangerous conditions that lead to the injury, gather evidence on their behalf and make sure that the conditions are attended to so no one else gets hurt.

Remaining calm and handling emergencies correctly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome for the injury victim. Studies show that when people think beforehand how they would react in an emergency situation they are more likely to make better choices.

If you need advice regarding an injury or accident, please call our office for a FREE case evaluation at 845-338-8884 or send us a message.