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Helping a Road Accident victim
May 2019

Helping a Road Accident victim ​

Many of us have witnessed a road accident at some point in our lives and felt the pain of being a helpless spectator, or trying to reach out to a doctor on phone , when all the victim/s need is a little help in that critical time to get a second life to life.The immediate help given to the victim in the first hour can save about half of the lives of road accident victims.

In India about 1,40,000 road accidents happen annually. Of these about half can be saved through proper help given by bystanders as it often takes time for the ambulance to arrive.
Many of us get the urge to help the victim/s and some of us have the medical knowhow too. However the thoughts of facing legal queries/ being held responsible for further ill condition of the victim on the way to hospital etc. holds many back, leading to loss of many precious lives, which can be saved.

Thankfully, now persons coming forward to help road accident victims are legally safe due to Good Samaritan law which provides legal protection to bystanders who come forward to rescue the victims of road crashes.

Save LIFE Foundation filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India in 2012 to safeguard the interest of bystanders who come forward to help the inured. The Good Samaritan Law passed on March 30th 2016 provides legal protection to people who come forward to help the victims of road accidents with no expectation of any return.

Steps to follow if you witness a Road accident – If you were to witness a road accident firstly do not panic. If you are on a car, turn off your car’s ignition, turn on your car’s Flash lights, to warn other persons coming to the site, do not let people crowd around the victim, as it reduces the air supply to the victim.

The basic but crucial steps to be taken at this hour are:

• It is important to ensure that the person’s airways are open, so that oxygen enters the body. If you spot dust, blood or anything blocking the person’s airways, remove that; loosen any tight clothes around the neck/ chest and secure the airway by Head tilt and Chin lift manoeuvre.

• Breathing must take place, so that oxygen passes through Lungs into blood stream. Check if the person is breathing, feel the breath on your cheek or look for the chest moving up and down. If the person is not breathing initiate artificial respiration if you know it. If you do not know it ask other bystanders. Call the emergency services. If you have somebody else with you, tell him/her to call the emergency service.

• It is important to ensure circulation of oxygen carrying blood. So compress the person’s chest about twice every second to a depth up to 3-5 cms (1.5 to 2 inches) with every push and continue till the medical help arrives.

These small steps taken in the critical hour of somebody’s life may give the person a second chance to life and a moment of pride to you to cherish for the rest of your lifetime