On a somewhat related note, as a Director of Safety I have done extensive research on first aid kits. Every time I hear of an accident this stuff goes through my head. I apologize if this is OT, but if only one person benefits from this it was worth it. This isn’t about your basic band aid and ointment kits, but emergency response kits that can save lives. The kits on the following link,
Intelligent On the Job first aid system
contain packets for various emergency situations including bleeding, shock, burns, etc. Each packet has instructions that are specific for its situation. There is also a study book included with the kit. I have one for our warehouse and for my vehicle. One never knows when they might be witness to an emergency life threatening situation. Being prepared can save lives. Also recommended is a fire extinguisher for your vehicle.
Kidde Automobile Fire Extinguisher
“According the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. public fire departments in 2004 responded to an estimated 266,500 highway-type vehicle fires. These fires claimed 520 lives and caused $969 million in direct property damage. NFPA estimates that one (17%) of every six reported fires involves a highway-type vehicle and 13% of all civilian fire deaths. On average, more than 30 highway vehicle fires were reported per hour. More than two-thirds of highway vehicle fires resulted from mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions.”
Keep extinguishers in your home in the kitchen area and upstairs if there’s a second floor, (especially if there is no secondary fire exit). Instruct the family on their use. Inspect them annually by checking the pressure gauge and shake them to avoid settling of the contents.
For those concerned regarding the legal ramifications of rendering emergency care, each state has a very similar Good Samaritan law. Here is an excerpt from New Hampshire’s.
Good Samaritan Law: 508:12
“Emergency care: If any person, in good faith, renders emergency care at the place of the
happening on an emergency, or while in transit in an ambulance or rescue vehicle to a
person who is in urgent need of care as a result of the emergency, and if the acts of care
are made in good faith and without willful or wanton negligence, the person
who renders the care is not liable in civil damages for his acts or omissions in rendering
the care as long as he receives no compensation for the care from or on behalf of the
person cared for, and provided further that any person rendering emergency care shall
have the duty to place the injured person under the care of a physician, nurse, or other
person qualified to care for such person as soon as possible and to obey the instructions
of such qualified person.”
Emergency care givers do have responsibilities.
A: Ask for the victim’s permission. Explain what you are going to do. Their response can be either verbal or a simple nod of the head. If the victim is unconscious it is assumed that you have implied consent. This means that if someone was available to speak on behalf of the victim such as a spouse, parent or sibling that they would grant consent. It is also assumed that the victim would grant consent if they were conscious.
B: Once emergency care is started it is not to be stopped until medical professionals arrive.
C: Do not move the victim unless either them or yourself are in a life threatening situation.