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Qn: what info to take down from/about accident victims?

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  • Qn: what info to take down from/about accident victims?

    Looking at first aid kits, some of them include forms for writing down info about those being treated. I'm assuming that's so when the victims get to the hospital the staff there have some sense of how the person was injured, what care was already given, and any medical background info on the person.

    My question is, is that the right assumption?

    If so, what specific info/questions should these first aid kit forms have on them?

    Some info would only be available if the victim or someone else is able to talk, etc., and some is sort of standard--name, age, medical history/medications they're on, but beyond the standard info, and/or, if the person can't answer, what info is important or useful to send along to whoever will later care for that person?

    (Tourniquets come with a tag so when they were first put on can be recorded, right? Is that the only info to write down for them? I'll look that up now that I've asked, but that's the sort of thing I'm wondering about.)

    I've looked online for a version of a form and haven't seen such, but maybe I haven't used the right search term.

    Any thoughts on what to put on such a form, or on what terms to use in looking for such online?

    Also--along the same lines--if anyone has stories about someone giving first aid and doing some really smart thing that most people wouldn't know or think to do, but that the EMTs/hospital staff were really glad to see when the victims came to them for care, I'm all ears for that.
    Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.

  • #2
    This is just my opinion from my experience. Information is passed orally to the first responder by people on site that have first person knowledge of what steps have been taken. Most information needed by first responders is usually visual or has to be provided by the injured/sick individual. I remember marking a "T" on the forehead of anyone that had a tourniquet applied and soldiers always have there blood type on there uniform and/or dog tags. Intubation, pressure bandages and most things are easily seen. Just my .02 cents.

    Dale
    Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.

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    • #3
      Basic information needed by care-givers/responders.

      1. What happened (as specific as possible).

      2. Where exactly does it hurt (if it is not obvious)

      3. Is there trouble breathing (again if not observable)

      4. What medications is the patient/victim on (collect and transport with them if possible)

      5. Is there any history of such occurances in the past

      6. How long ago did the accident/incident/illness happen (needed for hospital treatment reasons)

      7. What on-scene treatment was rendered (needed for hospital treatment reasons)

      8. Are there any history(s) of illnesses or injuries to this patient/victim (needed for hospital reasons)

      This information should be gathered and turned over to the next level of responders with the patient/victim

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      • #4
        That is a very good question. Ask you auto insurance company for ideas. They are experts at risk management.

        As to questions to ask the patient, here is a couple:

        Name, age, allergies, blood type, medications, next of kin phone number, and other medical problems.

        I responded 4 years ago to a motorcycle/bike accident. The bike rider was DOA and the motorcyclist was in bad shape. I had a first aid kit with me in the truck. All it had was some hand cleaner and band-aids. Not much help. I now carry a trauma kit that can take care of bleeding and breathing aids.

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        • #5
          Not sure what your level of training is, but know your limitations, and know how to properly use the gear you carry. You can sometimes cause more harm than good.

          #1 consideration, first and foremost, is scene safety. Don't become another victim, make things worse, or screw up what could be a crime scene. Do not approach any potential electrical hazard until you know the power is disconnected, do not approach a scene with unknown vapors or smells, watch for liquids on the ground or unstable ground, etc.

          That being said, in EMS you try to get enough info to give a "SAMPLE" report:

          Signs/symptoms
          Allergies
          Medications
          Past medical history
          Last intake (food, water, supplements, "funny pills I bought at a concert", etc...some people need prompting as they try to hide things)
          Event narrative

          I have spent my life in law enforcement, EMS, and fire. I still tell people to go back to what I learned as a Cub Scout over 30 years ago...

          Check, Call, Care:


          Check-- do a brief scene sizeup, such as number of vehicles, possible number of victims, road conditions and hazards, leaking fluids, visible smoke or flame, etc

          Call-- Dial 911 and get the professionals rolling ASAP. Tell the dispatcher all that you can. Do not jump to conclusions. Do not try to be a hero and wait to call 911 until the situation gets worse, because you think you can handle it yourself as soon as you arrive. I have seen this happen hundreds of times.

          Care-- Know your level of training and limitations of equipment or expedient equipment, and provide initial care.

          I understand that this forum discusses all kinds of "what ifs", and that we all want to be able to help someone in a time of need, but please, please PLEASE, get as much real training as you can, whether you only have time for CERT or EMR, as you can then have a much better understanding of things as well as be able to properly use more of the equipment you have. This is not time for buying a book or watching Youtube videos as your only means of learning. That's nice for learning chess moves or how to win at video games, but in the real world, there is no substitute for hands-on classroom training from a qualified instructor.

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          • #6
            When I was a police officer we were trained fairly often by the Red Cross
            in first aid and emergency treatment.
            I've done c.p.r. 3 times.
            Killed everyone of them. ooooooops! Sorry.
            Back in the day when we were trained to strike over the heart real hard to
            "jump start" the heart I broke ribs,
            I broke on old guys ribs from his sternum. I thought I killed the guy.
            I felt horrible.
            The e.r. docs said "if you don't crack ribs you didn't hit hard enough".
            I'm sure that's changed since then.
            I brought one guy back, sort of, but he was already brain damaged and died
            the next day.
            I've seen way too much of the dead and maimed and don't want no mo'!
            Vehicle crashes. Kids through the windshield. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
            Suicide by shotgun in the mouth. Yuk!

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            • #7
              This is an old thread--but with having been away a while, I'm catching up on things. SO...

              Jeager and Methusaleh, I hear you. I try to be aware of getting carried away. I don't know how being in an actual crash scene/etc. would affect that (i.e. seeing someone in need and wanting to help them), but making sure the scene is safe always made a lot of sense and ESPECIALLY so after seeing a video of a LEO going to help someone in a crash that involved a tank of amonia. He didn't make it and his dash cam captured the hole thing.

              Pretty powerful video for getting across the scene safety idea.

              As far as the emotional cost of trying to give first aid and possibly losing the person, that came home to me a bit from asking a friend who's a firefighter/EMT about how to help if I see an accident (...because at that time we'd just seen a fresh scene while on a family trip: people were trying to smash open a flipped over SUV's windows to get folks out as smoke was starting to come from the engine compartment; I didn't realize what was going on til we were already driving by, but that stuck with me). My friend kind of raised the question of 'do you really want to stop and get involved?' in a way that pointed to the fact that not every scene is easy to see or ends well.

              I hope I never have to decide about scene safety or whether or not to step in, but if I do, I hope I'll make good decisions.

              Everyone--thanks for the input.
              Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.

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              • #8
                One thing to keep in mind as well. Does that person have a pacemaker/ defibulater. These are important as you can not do compression CPR on those folks. Only mouth to mouth.

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                • #9
                  Schneb: It may have been mentioned here, but your car insurance company probably has a " Things to Do" list if you have an accident. I used to get one every year when I was an Outside Sales Rep. Fortunately, I never had to use it. One thing I remember was a small disposable camera to take pictures of the accident. I guess now most cell phones could be used for that purpose. Insurance Companies might be a good place to start.

                  Jeager: I know it is no consolation, and you will always feel badly about not saving a person's life. The way we were always taught in every CPR class was that you aren't going to kill anybody. They were already dead, or you wouldn't have to do CPR in the first place. The worst that happened was you were not able to bring them back. Maybe in some small way this will help.
                  The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                  Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

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