First Aid: After an Accident


A man collapsed on the floor
Jake Belluci, via Flickr

Liz Waid and Joshua Leo give simple instructions and advice about common emergencies. How would you help someone after an accident?

Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Joshua Leo.

Voice 2 

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

Imagine this situation. You are returning from work. You notice that the door to your neighbour’s house is open. Is something wrong? No one answers your call. So you open the door. Your neighbour sits at her table. Her head is down, and she is bleeding. She has had a bad fall. She speaks quietly, but her words do not make sense. She does not understand what is happening. What should you do?

Voice 2 

Treating a hurt person quickly is called first aid. First aid does not require expert medical help – anyone can learn first aid. This is the fourth Spotlight program in a series on first aid. The first three programs were about cuts, burns, and choking. But what do you do after you have treated these injuries? How do you make sure that the victim will recover?

Voice 1 

Severe injuries can lead to other problems inside the body. For example, they can lead to the condition called ‘shock’ or ‘traumatic shock.’ This is not the same as an emotional shock, caused by surprising news. Traumatic shock is a medical condition. Traumatic shock can kill.

Voice 2 

Traumatic shock happens when blood cannot reach the whole body.  Every cell in the body needs blood. Blood carries oxygen. This oxygen keeps the cells in the whole body healthy. An injury to the body may lead to less blood flowing to the cells. The result is traumatic shock. Shock can happen immediately, or it can develop over a few hours. Here are the signs to look for:

Voice 1 

Feelings of weakness.

Voice 2 

A weak, but fast, heart beat.

Voice 1 

Sickness.

Voice 2 

Blue coloured lips.

Voice 1 

Victims often have a continued desire to drink.

Voice 2 

They may also feel very cold, or very hot.

Voice 1 

Here is what you should do. Lie the victim down. Make sure that his clothes do not fit too closely around his neck. Ask someone else to get emergency help. If possible, lift the victim’s legs up. Put them on something. His legs should be higher than his heart and head. This is to make the blood flow to his brain. Keep the victim warm with a blanket.

Voice 2 

There are also some things you should not do for someone who may be in shock. Do not use a hot water bottle. This would bring the blood to the skin, away from organs.

Voice 1 

Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink. It may make him sick. It may also make it more difficult for health workers to treat/help him later. Wet his mouth with water if he needs a drink.

Voice 2 

Do not permit the victim to smoke a cigarette. It will make breathing more difficult. Do not move the victim without good cause. It will increase his shock.

Voice 1

If the victim remains awake, wait with him until a health worker arrives. Speak calmly to keep the victim awake. However, sometimes a serious injury can make a person unconscious. The victim may seem asleep, but he cannot wake up. In this situation, you should put the person in the recovery position.

Voice 2 

The ‘recovery position’ prevents more injuries. It prevents the tongue from blocking the air tubes. It also encourages any fluids, like vomit from the stomach, to fall from the mouth. This prevents fluid from reaching the lungs.

Voice 1 

The recovery position involves rolling the victim onto their side. Here is the safest way to do this for victims who are adults and older children.

Voice 2 

Suppose the person is lying on his back with his arms and legs straight down. Get on your knees, by his side. First move his arms. Slide the arm nearest to you out away from his body. Bend his other arm across his chest. Now you have to roll him onto his side - so he is facing towards you. You do this by lifting his knee. Use one of your hands to lift his far knee and pull it across his body. Use your other hand to protect his head while you do this. Now, move his head back. Just lift his chin a little. This will keep his airway clear. Finally, make sure that his face is resting on his hand. This method is much easier than it sounds. You will find a helpful link on this program script on our website. Even a young child can learn how to move someone to the recovery position.

Voice 1 

Do you remember the story from the beginning of this program? A neighbour had fallen and was bleeding. This is what happened to Chris Cox. Chris was trained in first aid by the Red Cross. He has lived next to Vera for 25 years. They are good friends. Vera is over 90 years old.

Voice 2 

One day, Chris heard a call for help. He quickly went to Vera’s home. She was on her knees. Her head had a large injury. There was a lot of blood. Chris told the Red Cross what he did to help.

Voice 3 

“My first concern was to stop her from losing any more blood. I put a cloth bandage on her head, and I put pressure on the wound. I got Vera to keep this pressure on the wound. Then I called for emergency medical help. I went back to her immediately. I added a second cloth bandage, until I had stopped the bleeding.”

Voice 1 

Then Chris helped Vera get more comfortable. He placed her on the floor. He put a blanket around her to keep her warm. He stayed with her and talked to her. This helped keep her from experiencing shock.

Vera went to the hospital. But she was soon able to return home. Chris added,

Voice 3 

“I have met people with bad cuts before. But I had never seen so much blood. Still, I have first aid training. I knew what to do, and I did it.”

Voice 2 

There are many different kinds of accidents. Each of them needs different first aid help. The right, quick, action can save a person’s life.

Voice 1 

In another programme we will look at first aid for some other injuries and accidents. If you are interested in first aid, you can learn more. Ask your local doctor or hospital where you can train in first aid. You never know - you could save a life.

Voice 2 

The writers of this program were Marina Santee and Elizabeth Lickiss. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘First Aid: After an Accident’.

Voice 1 

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Have you ever experienced an accident? What is the emergency number to call in your area when you need help?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
spoth
said on June 06, 2012

Thanks for the tips on first aid, which are very valuable for emergencies. You need try to stay calm and always carry phone support
Best regards fron Quito Ecuador

Avatar Spotlight
paulo86nirisco
said on July 02, 2013

very nice topics , thank spotlight for the series first aid.

Avatar Spotlight
georgino
said on July 05, 2013

This program help me to learn how to act in case an emergency, you never knew when had someone in shock.
I don´t know about first aid, no idea recovery position.

Well, I want to learn more about it. Send more information,tips and put in practice.

Excellent topic
greetings

Avatar Spotlight
rajesh kumar
said on July 07, 2016

i never experienced any accident . But I saw many accidents,  in case of emergency we called ambulance and emergency number . they come and took the victim to hospital .
if accident happen with our friends than we treat and call first aid .we keep in mind victim should not be faint and try to reach to doctor without wasting time if person is severe injures and blooded we cover his /her wound part by cloths and bandage and call the doctor.

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kenhieuloilam
said on July 07, 2016

Life of human is marvellous. We may be able to live a hundred years. Life of human is fragile. It may be short. There may be risks of injuries or accidents in our daily lives. The risks may be at work, home, on road, etc. We prevent or avoid the risks for ourselves and other people. We treat injuries and accidents for ourselves and other people. Fragility of life of human reminds each of us to try always to live our lives well. We do beautiful good things and keep away from not good things. We can walk, stand, talk and laugh today. We are always a good person.

Kaleb Kolaibi's avatar
Kaleb Kolaibi
said on July 08, 2016

Yes, I have even many experience an accident(s). Sometimes at home, sometimes by cars or motorcyciles ... Etc. But I did not called any number of emergency or anothers numbers because: 1) Its not have realy emergency in my country (Yemen). Its underdevelopment. 2) Is was simple accidents. I treated at home or went to hospital or clinic.
God bless you

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on July 26, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: answer to the question above
Date: Tuesday 26, July 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Liz Waid, Marina Santee, Elizabeth Lickiss, Joshua Leo, and Michio Ozaki:

First of all, I want to thank you to bring us readers and learners of English more one great article.  Besides, I am amazed for this article and the previous ones in which you have brought for us. Thanks!
Yes, I have. But not in the streets or other places. I and my co-workers have ever experienced many accidents in the hospital where we work to.
So, everyday many pacients are brought to the hospital’s emergency room where I work to receive medical help. Many of that pacients are victims who suffered injuries from accidents with cars, bikes, motorcycles,  and other kinds of injuries.
These poor pacients are brought to the hospital by the Military Police’s ambulance.
Someone else calls the Military Police’s ambulance by the number 190 and quickly someone answers it to help. Can I help you? This is a free service of the Military Police.
This is a free service of the Military Police to help any person in case of accidents and no matter where it happened.  In the streets or other places.
This great service of the Military Police is available in the whole Brazil. We just call 190 and soon it arrives to help any person in bad health situation. 
Sure, in another Brazil’s states, the number changes because of the area code (phone).
Also, we have the SAMU Serviço Médico de Urgência to help any person in case of accidents or in bad condition health. ( emergency medical service).
This a great free service of the Town Hall to help any person in case of accidents, too. And no matter the place where the victim suffered the accident in the streets, in a house, at home, at the factories, companies, and etcs. We just calls it and quickly The Town Hall’s ambulance arrives at the place where the accident happened. So, the victim is taken to the hospital to receive medical help.

Your regards,
Severino Ramos