Press Release, August 2015: LifeMed ambulance services believe that information is the key to more lives can be saved. Willie Lightfoot, founder and owner of Lifemed, gives us five potentially lifesaving steps that anyone can follow should they be the first to arrive on the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
According to Lightfoot, the most common challenges that Lifemed responders encounter at accident scenes are bad weather conditions such as rain or low temperatures and obtaining the right patient information so that they can be transported to their preferred hospital. Ensuring the safety of surrounding vehicles and passersby is also an important consideration for first responders. They need to ensure that no one else is going to drive onto the scene or make the situation worse in any way. This includes controlling the movement of bystanders and family members so that they do not interfere with the treatment being administered to injured victims. One the biggest challenges, Lightfoot says, is triaging multiple patients from the most critical to minor injuries at multiple vehicle accidents.
Challenging as these factors may be for paramedics – they are at least both qualified and experienced in dealing with them. The average person to arrive first at the scene would not have this on their side and according to Lighfoot, one very key element on the scene of an accident that could help both the responders and injured persons is knowledge on how best to deal with the situation. “There are five key points to remember if you as an unqualified individual find yourself witness and then stopping at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. By just carrying out these simple actions, lives can be saved and further tragedy can be avoided,” he says.
LifeMed’s 5 Tips for Dealing with Accident Scene
1. Park your car safely and be safe when getting out of your car. Wear reflective jacket if available.
2. Look for electrical wires, petrol or any additional hazards that could make the scene unsafe.
3. Call EMS services as soon as possible for assistance. You can reach LifeMed on 0861 086 911. They will also call SAPS, traffic and fire services on your behalf.
4. Unless the scene is unsafe and you need to move the patient away from the danger, do not move the patient. Talk to them and reassure them that help is on the way.
5. People die from blood loss and lack of oxygen. This means as a bystander, to save a life you need to try to stop any profuse bleeding using bandages or direct pressure on the wound. Also try to keep the patient warm with a blanket or jacket.
For more information, visit www.lifemed911.co.za. To stay up to date on LifeMed’s latest news, ‘Like’ the Life Med Ambulance Services Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @lifemedems.
LifeMed is a 24-hour emergency ambulance service providing medical care across South Africa. They also provide medical standby for events and first aid, CPD, CPR and basic fire training as well as injury on duty transport services. Their medical Airwing services are able to transport sick and injured patients within South Africa and from across the border. Their 24-hour Emergency Control room provides access to many additional services and is manned by qualified staff.