NH5 is all wet. Abhinav, Kireetie, Deep, Peyus and I are zipping past everything at 110 kmph. When we pass Autonagar, a car ahead of us suddenly applies brakes and swerves to another lane. We notice what made him change the lane, a road accident had taken place, recent by the looks of it. The bike lay destroyed, the rider fallen and motionless. We drive by as well, but decide to take a U-turn and return. We get out, wondering, if the rider is alive or dead.
We check the pulse, but don’t find any. Kireetie calls up 108. Instead of summoning someone quickly to the accident scene, the 108 official dawdles, asking irrelevant questions. People are still driving by. The only thing prompting the drivers to take another lane is the blinker of the bike, which was still working.
Seven minutes later this man suddenly coughs. Peyus and I shout “HE IS ALIVE, He is alive.” We try to lift his head to avoid water from entering his nose. That is when I notice, the severe head injury. Peyus helps me try to press the injury and shield his face from water. We call 108 again informing them that the victim is alive. By now some of the people have stopped to witness all the drama, and they call 108 as well. Another fifteen minutes pass and yet no 108.
The guy is breathing heavily; I notice he has a phone in his pocket. I reach out for it, when others shout DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. Abhinav suggests we try and call up a relation of his, but everyone around insist that we don’t do anything until 108 comes.
Finally, another eight minutes later the ambulance arrives. There is no nurse, no doctor – only a driver with a helper. As we help in lifting the victim onto the stretcher, I inform the driver that as there is a phone in his pocket, he could call a relation and inform them of the accident. He says he will do so. They leave for KGH and we depart for home.
Looking back, I am glad that this night was not the last night for that rider. I believe he shall live to see more Octobers. But this incident got me thinking…
The rider was unconscious, lying on the road waiting to be run over by a speeding vehicle. Why didn’t anybody stop and come forward to help? Was it the rain? Was it the hurry? Or has the value of life decreased?
There was a phone in the rider’s pocket. I could have taken that phone, called up his relative myself, why didn’t I take that responsibility? Why did I avoid the hassle? Are we all turning emotionless? Is this the way it is supposed to be?
The night raised a lot of questions. I wonder how many more nights it shall take me to figure out the answers. I hope we all are not heading in the wrong direction.
The above was sent in by Abhinava, a GITAM college student. The doubts and questions he raised, and the apathy to the accident shown by most of the late night drivers spurred us to highlight this issue and remind us Vizagites what we as citizens should do in such situations.
On an average 1,14,000 road accidents occur in India every year. Most of these victims die only for lack of any prompt action. Thousands of lives can be saved by simply extending a helping hand.
How to help
Call 108 for help and assist the victim
Safeguard his/her belongings and look for any identification card, or mobile phone for an emergency contact number. Call the concerned person, it will ensure personal care and intervention by a known person, and possibly guarantee better medical treatment.
Calm the victim and place him/her comfortably on a flat surface
Most times, the victim will be in a state of shock following the accident, and usually responds to a call. If the victim responds, enquire if he/she feels pain in any area and restrict movement of that part. If the victim has sustained any major bone fracture, do not move that limb, as this may cause bleeding or worsen the injury.
Apply pressure on the bleeding source
This will ensure the victim doesn’t lose too much blood.
Move the victim carefully, supporting the head and neck
Don’t shake the victim’s head even if to awaken him/her as it may worsen a spinal cord injury. Transport the victim preferably on a stretcher. This will ensure that the victim doesn’t suffer any further injury during transport.
Don’t give water to an unconscious victim
There are chances that liquids without medical supervision can choke the victim to death.
Don’t move a badly fractured limb
Any wrong movement can complicate a fracture and cause internal bleeding as well.