How To Treat An Injured Cyclist

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In the past 4 months I’ve been the first at the scene on four (yes, FOUR) cyclists who have been hit by a car.  Each and every time and I have had no real clue of what do to.   The first thing I normally do is check for bike damage to see what I can salvage in case the rider isn’t alive.  ;-)  Luckily there have been others at the scene who have known exactly what to do while I’m there inspecting the bike.  I was going to do my extensive google research to write this but I thought it should come from someone who knows.  The lovely Jo Hogan is a highly experienced Emergency Nurse (as well as a top notch cyclist) and knows this stuff inside and out.  She’s kept it simple and concise so there’s not much to remember.  This is important stuff that you hope you’ll never need to know.  Unfortunately you sometimes need to.  Thanks Jo!

My name is Joanne Hogan I am an Emergency Nurse .  CyclingTips asked me to write a short article on what to do in an emergency situation when you come across an injured cyclist. Unfortunately this seems to be an increasing occurrence of late!

In an emergency situation when you, a friend or an unknown person is involved in an accident adrenaline and nerves can kick in.  It is important to remain calm and make sure that you, the affected person and others around are safe.
The first things to do is ring 911 or (000 in Aus)  for an ambulance. The next step is to follow the DRABC (danger, response, airway, breathing, circulation) guide below:

D: Danger
Make sure the area is safe for yourself and the injured person, e.g.  If the cyclist is in further danger of being injured, it maybe necessary to move them to the side of the road.

R: Response
Check if the person is conscious or unconscious.  Ask them their name and have them squeeze your hand.

A: Airway
Check the airway for any objects and clear if necessary.  Roll them onto their side into a recovery position (see picture below), being aware that their neck may be injured and needs to be stabilised whilst they are being rolled. DO NOT MOVE THE INJURED VICTIM

B: Breathing
Once on their side, again check that the mouth is clear of any obstructions, such as blood or vomit and check for breathing. If no breathing is apparent, roll onto back and start CPR if able. DO NOT MOVE THE INJURED VICTIM

C: Circulation
Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure with bandages or clothing. If possible, elevate the bleeding part above the level of the chest. Keep the injured person as still as possible by packing clothing and equipment around them to prevent movement to the spine and any broken bones.

If you have any further questions regarding first aid treatment I’ll be happy to answer in the COMMENTS section of this post.

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