Accident Recovery Blog: What to do while you wait for an Ambulance

What to do while you wait for an Ambulance?


Being in a serious accident is a very jarring experience.  It can be disorienting and you may make bad decisions if you’re not well prepared. Obviously you should always contact an ambulance immediately if anyone has sustained an injury.


Remember to always remain calm. Assess the Situation. Can you move? Should you move?  Are you in a safe place? If you are safe and the other passengers are safe then it is best to simply stay awake and wait for the ambulance.  Avoid doing anything to put yourself or others in any more risk.


If it is safe for you to move and you are not seriously injured, then attempt to find out who is hurt in the other vehicle. Is anybody not responding? Is anybody unconscious? Information like this is good to give to the ambulance as soon as they arrive.  Seconds can mean someone’s life.


Never try to move anybody if they are seriously injured. It’s safe to assume they have had a head, neck or back injury, which can bee made much worse if they are moved. If there are vehicles or victims in the middle of the road, try to find a safe way to divert traffic.  If it is nighttime, take extreme care not to do anything that may put you in further danger.  


If you are certified in first aid and CPR and someone is in serious danger and there is no way a responder will be there in time then you can make the call to help a victim. If someone is unconscious then implied consent states you can help him or her if they are in need of life saving assistance.


If a victim is conscious you must always get their consent before you attempt to help them.  Simply ask them “Do you need help? Can I assist you?” If they respond in the affirmative then you can attempt to help them.


If your state has Good Samaritan laws then you are protected from liability while helping someone in danger so long as you are not negligent.  Be aware if the state you are in has laws like these, otherwise you could get sued for saving someone’s life!!


 - Remember when dealing with victims to consider the CPR - ABC’s


Airway – is the victims airway blocked? Can you clear the debris away and return breathing?


Breathing – Does the airway appear clear and the victim is still not breathing? Put your ear to his or her chest, sometimes breathing is shallow if someone is badly hurt.


Circulation – Do they have a pulse? If the victim is breathing then they will have a pulse.  Remember to not attempt to resuscitate the victim if you have not been trained in the proper procedures.


If someone is bleeding profusely apply pressure to try and slow the flow of blood.  Always use sterilized gauze or cloth when available.  Use articles of clothing or rags as last resorts when helping someone.


Once the ambulance has arrived and they take over, begin to document all pertinent information, the injuries that everyone has sustained, how the accident happened, what sort damage has been done to each vehicle and take the necessary steps to begin your insurance claim. Remember you can never get too much information.


Good driving and be safe out there!