Phoning while driving causes a lot of carnage
Ambulance officers often see preventable injuries and deaths caused by poor driving, texting while driving, speed and alcohol.
‘‘The devastating effects of road crashes are seen firsthand by our ambulance officers,’’ St John clinical director Tony Smith said.
‘‘We are fully supportive of the police campaign to remind the driving public of the dangers of using mobile phones while driving. It can literally be the difference between life and death.’’
The Land Transport Amendment Rule 2009 banned the use of handheld mobile phones while driving.
A two-week campaign is under way to raise awareness of the legislation and refocus drivers’ atten- tion on the danger of using phones while driving.
If you are first on the scene you can help save a life. Here is what you can do:
First, ensure the injured people and bystanders are safe from danger, for example from oncoming traffic. Arrange for someone to stop traffic if necessary.
Call 111 and ask for an ambulance. You will be asked a series of questions about the location and nature of the crash.
Assess the injured people for lifethreatening injuries that require immediate first aid:
Responsiveness: Check to see if the injured people are conscious by talking to them. If they are not con- scious they are at risk of blocking their airway.
Airways: Check the airway of the unconscious people ( you do not need to do this for people who are awake) by listening for a snoring sound when they breathe. If they are snoring their airway is partly blocked by their tongue falling back. If the airway is blocked tilt the head gently back and lift thechin forward. Keep doing this until an ambulance arrives.
Breathing: Check the breathing of the unconscious people (you do not need to do this for people who are awake) by looking at their chest. If they are not breathing they need CPR. To do this you will have to get the person out of the vehicle. Keep doing CPR until an ambulance arrives.
Circulation: Check people for visible bleeding. If there is significant bleeding push firmly on the wound with a piece of cloth and keep doing this until an ambulance arrives. Do not move injured people unless they are in immediate danger. If they are in immediate danger you must move them to a safe place. Gather all the people who were in the crash and sit them down in a safe area, so that ambulance officers can check them out when they arrive.
With the holidays just around the corner it is also a good time to check your first aid kit is fully stocked.