By definition, accidental injuries are unintentional, not planned, and happened out of chance or bad luck.
Each year, accidental injuries impact millions of people across many countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), injuries are the third leading cause of death in children and young adults.
Here are the data collected from the WHO on accidental injuries:
- About 39.5 million medical visits and hospitalizations
- More than 3.4 million deaths worldwide
- Accidental injuries rank the third leading cause of death next to heart disease and malignant neoplasms (cancer).
Accidental injuries occur fast and unexpectedly. Many of these injuries occur on the road or elsewhere when you are away from home. In such scenarios, you could find yourself having to waste valuable minutes waiting for help and assistance. Knowing the basic first aid procedures from The First Aid Course Sydney, a first aid course provider, in the event of accidents and injuries can help lessen the impact. It could also potentially help you the life of other people, including yourself.
Common Types of Injuries
The following are among the most common causes of these injuries:
- Slips, trips, and falls
A slip, trip, or fall at work can lead to a number of injuries – and even death. Slips occur when there is not enough friction between your feet and the surface you are walking. For trips, it happens when your foot strikes an object, causing you to lose balance. Both slips and trips can result in falls.
- Being struck by or against an object
Being struck by an object is a common scenario in the workplace. In most cases, struck-by-object injuries involve being hit by a piece of equipment or objects that are falling, swinging, or rolling. It can cause debilitating injuries, requiring extensive treatment, rehabilitation, and longer time off of work.
- Pedestrian and bicycle injuries
Deadly collisions from pedestrian and bicycle injuries are relatively rare, but they still happen. Within ten years (2009 and 2018), we see a 50.7% increase in pedestrian and bicycle fatality rate.
- Accidental chemical or thermal burns
Thermal burns are skin injuries that occur when you come in contact with excessive heat. The usual cause for thermal burns is hot surfaces, hot liquids, steam, or flame. On the other hand, chemical burns occur from the misuse of products such as those for hair, skin, and nail care. However, unlike thermal burns, chemical burns significantly alter systemic tissue pH and metabolism. These changes can result in serious pulmonary and metabolic complications.
- Motor vehicle accidents
Injuries from motor vehicle accidents account for over 1.4 million deaths in 2016. In a motor vehicle accident, the victim is likely to suffer from severe whiplash and neck strain injuries.
Poisoning has recently replaced road traffic accidents as the top cause of unintentional death. About 90 percent of all poisoning cases occur within the house. It i to the presence of common household items found in the house such as chemicals, small batteries, and poisonous food items.
How to prevent accidental injuries
Many accidental injuries and emergencies are preventable. The very first step is to find the problem early, and the response should quickly follow up. It is important to stay alert and follow first aid safety procedures. These are an effective way to help keep situations manageable and stop an accidental injury from becoming an emergency.
According to the American Red Cross, there are six types of first aid for accidental injuries.
First Aid for Bleeding
- Apply direct pressure on the wound until bleeding stops. If available, put on gloves and other protective material to avoid direct contact with the blood.
- Cover the wound using a clean gauze or dressing.
- Elevate the injury or raise it in a position just below the victim’s heart to reduce the blood flow.
- Apply a bandage over the dressing and continue to apply pressure on the area of injury.
- If there is a material such as material or glass embedded on the skin, do not attempt to remove it. Wait for emergency help to arrive.
First Aid for Burns
To ensure proper treatment for burns, it is important to recognise the type or degree of burn the victim has sustained.
First Degree Burn – red skin appearance, and it may be painful or swollen. Most first-degree burns do not require medical attention.
Second Degree Burn: redness on the skin, with the appearance of blisters. Injuries are maybe swollen, and the degree of injuries may require medical attention.
Third Degree Burn: skin is visibly charred and may turn white. These types of burns are painful and require medical attention.
First aid first and second-degree burns:
- Soak the burned area in cool water until the pain stops. If the burns affect large areas of the body such as the torso or face, use wet cloth material to cover it. Do not break any blisters. Use medicated first aid cream on the area to reduce pain.
- For third-degree burns or serious second-degree burns: call emergency services immediately. Do not try to remove clothing stuck to the burned area, and do not apply compresses, creams, or gels for relief.
First Aid for Head, Neck, and Suspected Spinal Injuries
- Call emergency services immediately.
- Do not move the victim. It can lead to permanent paralysis and other complications.
- Stabilise the head by providing support using your hands and put them on either side of the victim’s head.
- Keep them in the same position until help arrives.
First Aid for Poisoning
- If the person is conscious, call emergency services while determining the cause of poisoning. Then, place the person in a recovery position.
- If the person is unconscious, do not delay and call for help. Start CPR until they are conscious or until help arrives.
First Aid for Choking
- Hold the person by the waist and give five blows from behind. Deliver the back blows between their shoulder blades using the heel of your hand.
- Give five abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) by placing your fist with the thumb side just above the abdomen.
- Continue with the cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts until you dislodge the object or until help arrives.
First Aid for Loss of Consciousness
- Check for breathing. If the victim is not breathing, call for an ambulance and prepare to begin CPR.
- Raise the victim’s leg at least 12 inches above the ground.
- Remove any restrictive clothing and accessories.
- Look for signs of positive circulation such as breathing, coughing, or moving. Check for airway obstruction.
- If the person is having trouble breathing or non-breathing, start CPR.
It is always a good idea to have basic first aid skills as it can make a difference in life-threatening situations. The First Aid Course Sydney said: There are First aid techniques and procedures are easy to learn and apply, but they can save you and your loved ones in critical situations.