ok no… im not that kind of a SUPERhero…
but hero i was alright!
outside my condo today, there was a road traffic accident. car that was turning out crashed into a bike. i didnt see the accident, but i did see a lady squatting beside the injured biker weeping. a teenager who stood by his car. and his dad who was trying to help the weeping lady. another guy stood by the far pavement and was probably calling for an ambulance.
as i walked down, i saw the scene, and wondered, “should i help?”
yes, i had the obligation to.
i waved across and shouted, “excuse me, i’m a first aider. do you need my help?”
they nodded and waved for me to cross over. the nice guy who called the ambulance walked be across the busy road.
not like i do first aid everyday, but, i knew the chances of a spinal injury were very high in a RTA. but the biker’s helmet was already removed. so i left it as that. his abdomen was moving up and down, so he was still breathing. and that meant he was still alive. i checked for his pulse, to see if he was in cardiogenic shock. pulse was normal. breathing was shallow.
the next thing i was supposed to do was to do a head to toe check, BUT, i decided not to touch anything. so i went on to check his level of response.
“sir, i’m going to check your eyes now.” i said.
opened his eyes. pupil dilated. i should have checked the other eye, to rule our head injuries, but i didnt. but at least he was able to respond. at least its not a severe head injury.
i held his hands, and asked him to squeeze when i asked questions.
seriously, i think i was very calm and collected and handled the situation quite well.
the weeping lady was also in a state of shock, constantly mumbling and worried that the man was going to die.
to distract her, i asked if she had a bottle of water, so that i can dap on the man’s lips. she said she didnt want to stand up because she’s afraid she’d faint.
what else could i do?? i waited, as i checked for vital signs.
along the way, another motorist stopped by. he approached the dad, who directed him to me.
“do you need any help? i have a first aid kit in my bike”
“i dont see any bleeding or wounds, so i think it’s alright. i cant move him, but at least his level of response is alright. he’s just in a bit of pain.” i said.
“ok, then i’ll go off…”
i was pleasantly touched to see another person come by to help, rather than stand and watch.
an SCDF officer finally came on a bike. i pondered for a while before i decided to walk to him and summarise (though i know they’d do a more thorough check anyway)
“he’s been down for abt 10-15min. hes still breathing, has a pulse. difficulty breathing. pupils dilate when i open the eye lid, level of response is fine.” i summarised.
the SCDF officer rolled his eyes down my shirt (and probably saw the St John Ambulance Brigade Logo), smiled said thanks and moved on to do the head to toe check on the guy. and later told the ambulance officers that he has a lower back injury and a small abrasion on his left knee.
i figured they didnt need my help anymore, and i needed to get my arse to sch anyway, so i didnt stay on. i verified with the SCDF biker who said i can go off, and then, he directed the traffic for me to cross. (so cool!)
as i walked off, i reflected. one of the things we are not taught in first aid is to have the confidence to approach casualty. and yet, that is the most important thing to have.
and i figured, more than all the coolness of rescuing a casualty, being a first aider is more than all the hype.
“where did i get the confidence from?” i asked myself.
if i know i could be of some help, and i didnt go to render any help, and the guy dies because of my selfish act, would i be able to sleep at night?
i might not have been much of a help, since i couldnt do much for internal bleeding/spinal injury, but at least i was available for help.
i feel good.
and i hope the guy gets better.