European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty Member Asst. Prof. Dr. Semra Aslay emphasised the importance of “First Aid in Traffic Accidents” and provided information.
“Traffic accidents are one of the emergencies that can actually be prevented and that unfortunately, the loss of life is gradually increasing,” Aslay provided the following information in her statements; In 2022, 3689 traffic accidents occurred in the TRNC, 21 accidents resulted in death, and 586 accidents resulted in injured citizens. Similarly, 1 million 232 thousand 957 traffic accidents occurred in the Republic of Turkey in 2022. 197,261 accidents resulted in fatal injuries. The most important point here is what causes traffic accidents most often. Carelessness, driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, violation of traffic lights and lack of equipment are among the most common causes. As all these causes are recognised, they can be completely prevented, and traffic accidents can be reduced to very low figures.
Another important point in this situation, which can be prevented and causes incredible material and moral losses, is to remove the driver or passengers from the environment as safely as possible, apply the necessary first aid intervention and activate the 112 emergency response system. It should not be forgotten here that if first aid applications are not performed correctly, the clinical condition of the patient or injured person may worsen. For instance, in serious spinal injuries, it is vital to ensure that the injured person is transported in a way to minimise the impact on the nervous system, and even if there is no possibility of a life-threatening development, it is one of the most important not to move the injured person before emergency medical assistance arrives. In cases where vehicles are seriously damaged, even if the victim feels well, he/she should be kept under control for a while in the hospital. Because the absence of injuries that can be seen from the outside does not mean that there will be intact internal organs and bones from the inside.
The person who will apply first aid must first ensure the safety of the accident site. The ignition of the vehicle is switched off, stones are placed in front of the tyres and the injured people are moved to a safe place if their movement will not damage their nervous system. If there is more than one injury, their conditions are evaluated separately. Victims who are conscious, able to speak, and swallow should still be kept on the floor slightly on their backs just in case. Victims who are unconscious but breathing are laid on their side, and the arm on that side is folded and placed under the head so that it is easy to evaluate the patient in repeated controls. It is also easier to detect vomiting and seizures in this situation. In unconscious and non-breathing casualties with no pulse, basic life support should be started immediately and heart massage/rescue breathing should be applied at a ratio of 30/2. Before doing all these, it is necessary to call 112 and inform the scene of the incident, the number of victims and their current situation at first glance.
Another important issue is the possibility of the vehicle being involved in an accident due to the sudden illness of the driver. In these cases, although there is no visible injury to the driver, unconsciousness, lack of pulse and respiration indicate sudden heart disease; foaming at the mouth of the driver or having a seizure if the driver is found at the scene of the accident with his/her hands folded forward or to the side. These situations must be reported to 112 as new information.
Traffic accidents traumatise the individual morally as well as materially. Suddenly losing a loved one, witnessing the loss of a loved one’s life or being in need of support to live for a lifetime are indescribably painful experiences. What is really important here is that almost all traffic accidents are actually preventable.
Following the rules to prevent accidents from happening at all, and applying the right first aid if they do happen despite every control, unfortunately, increases the likelihood of survival of the victim and ensures that the worst possible outcome becomes the lowest-risk event that can be experienced. Right first aid always saves lives.