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Helping Accident Victims

Life of an accident victim can be saved by administering timely medical aid. The 'GOLDEN HOUR', the first hour after the trauma is called the 'golden hour' Instant and proper first aid given to road accident victims during this hour increases the chance of survival manifold and reduce the severity of injuries. Many deaths and impact of injuries can be prevented with First Aid if causalities are treated immediately.

First aid is the initial care given to an injured person. This timely care prior to the arrival of the medical help means the difference between life and death. As it is not always possible that proper medical care reaches the victim within an hour. In that case the passerby, onlookers and other people involved can provide the first aid to serious victims. However, improper handling to victims sometime worsens the situation. Though providing proper first aid to an accident victim is not so complicated but one should be aware of the procedures and precautions.

One of the misconceptions about road accidents death is that most of them happen due to sever injury and loss of blood. But reality is that most common cause of death in road accidents due to loss of oxygen supply. Most of the times it happens because airway gets blocked due to great impact and shock to body. Normally it takes less than four minutes for a blocked airway to cause death.

Priorities of treating an accident victim

  • Asphyxia (loss of oxygen)
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Severe Hemorrhage (Bleeding)
  • Other Injuries/Illnesses


Critical four minutes - One of the most common causes of a d accident death is due to loss of oxygen supply. This is mostly caused by a blocked airway.


  • Make the Scene safe
  • Look for the injured
  • Assist them
  • Call help & Look for the unconscious victims

Follow the rule of ABC

Clearing Airway

1. Airway - Clear the airway i.e. breathing track
2. Breathing - Help restore it by mouth to mouth resuscitation
3.Circulation - Stop any bleeding

Clearing Airway

  • Put the victim on ground very gently and cautiously without vigorous handling to prevent further injury.
  • Turn the victim to one side.
  • Loosen clothing at neck, chest and waist.
  • Tilt the head back, point the face slightly down so the tongue can fall forward allowing blood and vomit to drain out.
  • Remove dirt, blood, vomit or loose teeth from mouth.

Restoring breath - mouth to mouth resuscitation. If the victim is still not breathing, give him artificial breathing.

  • Turn the victim onto the back and start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation immediately.
  • Tilt head back, support jaw, keep your fingers clear of throat;
  • With good mouth to mouth seal and your cheek sealing the victim's nose, blow into the mouth until the chest rises;
  • Lift your mouth, turn your head to see chest fall and listen and feel for air escaping from nose and mouth.
  • If chest does not rise, check; For blocked airway.
  • Mouth to mouth seal
  • Continue mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until breathing is restored. Blow every four seconds with adults and every three seconds with children.

Circulation - stop any bleeding

  • Uncover bleeding wound. Stop bleeding by direct pressure on the wound with thick pad of bandage or cloth.
  • Bleeding limbs should be elevated to prevent bleeding.
  • Do not remove foreign objects from bleeding wound.
  • Apply pads and bandage them around the wound. Do the same if broken bones are visible.

    Courtesy:- Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India

    Developed and designed by National Informatics Centre, Jharkhand, Ranchi