Aurora, CO is close to two major interstates (I-225, I-70) and one major highway (SH 470), so there’s lots of potential for serious accidents. And one scary possibility in serious accidents is someone knocked unconscious. A vehicle occupant who suffers a concussion or more severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) might lose consciousness, for example.
If you’re in an accident and your passenger or the other driver is in an unconscious state, there are certain steps you need to take to make sure that the person remains safe until help arrives.
Check if the Person is Unconscious
When first encountering an unconscious person, it’s important to confirm unconsciousness. But do not slap the person or shake the person, as this may aggravate other injuries he or she sustained in the accident. If the person is unconscious, call 9-1-1 immediately and inform the operator that someone was knocked unconscious and needs emergency care.
If you can’t call because you need to attend to the person or don’t have a phone, single somebody out to call 9-1-1. If you generally shout for someone to call, people nearby might assume someone else will call and won’t do so themselves, which can delay getting emergency care to the scene.
Some people may be conscious but in an altered mental state. If the person is conscious, ask basic questions like, “What is your name?” or “Who is the president?” If the person can’t answer, it might indicate he or she is in an altered state of consciousness and requires medical attention as well.
Make Sure the Person is Breathing and Perform CPR if Necessary
While you wait for the ambulance to arrive, there are steps you can take to make sure the patient remains safe. Make sure their airway is clear and see if the patient is breathing. If necessary, begin to perform CPR. If you are not trained in CPR, ask if another person nearby is trained.
Do Not Attempt to Move the Person Unless Necessary
It’s hard to assess the person’s other injuries immediately following an accident, especially to the untrained person. The person might have suffered a spinal cord injury, for example; moving this person could cause further injuries.
So avoid moving the unconscious person unless absolutely necessary (e.g., the car catches on fire). If it becomes necessary, support the head and neck and try not to move it at all. Ask for help from others nearby.
Others Things You Can Do Until Help Arrives
MedlinePlus also recommends keeping the person warm until medical rescue arrives. Avoid putting a pillow or other items under the person’s head and avoid trying to give the person food or drinks. Even if the person regains consciousness shortly after being knocked unconscious, still ensure you call for medical attention. The person may have a head injury or other serious injuries.
Victims of car accidents in Aurora should speak with a lawyer soon after involvement in a serious car accident. The Law Office of D.J. Banovitz is qualified to help you throughout the claims process. Call our office at 303-300-5060 for a free evaluation of your legal rights.