Accidents, what to do if there are injuries
According to the Spanish Penal Code (Código Penal) it is every citizen’s responsibility to assist an injured person after an accident. A lot of us ask ourselves what exactly needs to be done?
The first sixty minutes after an accident are crucial for injured parties. Between 30% to 50% of deaths occur in the first five minutes and 75% within the first hour. In the majority of cases death is caused by extreme blood loss or breathing problems caused by airway obstructions, this is why it is critical that all road users know basic first aid to help reduce the number of deaths.
It is important to remember that in an accident situation, we need to first of all protect the injured party from further injury, then call for help from the professionals and then assist if possible, in Spain this is known as PAS, Proteger, Avisar y Socorrer.
Steps to follow after an accident:
The first step is to check the vital functions of the injured party. To do this correctly, we need to observe their breathing then attempt to talk to the victim to assess their level of consciousness and the answers they are able to give. Once these steps have been taken, you would then need to see if they are suffering from any bleeding or bad wounds.
If the victim is unconscious or isn’t breathing then CPR may need to be performed. This is carried out by placing the victim, preferable, on their back on a flat surface.
If the victim has a sever bleed then we would need to attempt to stem the bleeding, this can be done by elevating the wounded area, if possible; by applying pressure on the artery that is providing the blood flow, or by applying a compression bandage over the affected area. If none of this is possible then apply pressure directly to the wound with a cloth or rag. ALWAYS use gloves to protect yourself.
If you can’t help in any of the ways outlined above sometimes one of the most vital tools used is to keep the victim calm by talking to them. Don’t attempt to remove the victim from the vehicle until the emergency services have arrived unless their life is in imminent danger. NEVER remove a biker’s helmet, unless it is affecting their breathing or they are having trouble breathing or specifically if they have vomited.
Always call the emergency services and request an ambulance, this can be done by calling 112. The call is free and can be made without credit on your mobile or call time needing to be used. As in a UK 999 call you will be asked first which service you require, next you will be asked for the location, try to give as much detail as you can, street names or road numbers can be vital, and then the level of injures and the number of injured parties, they may ask for