First aid tips for motorcyclists
by Urska STS
About a week ago, a boy and a girl were riding a motorcycle Honda CBR on an afternoon ride. They came to a junction and they had a rite of passage since they were going straight one. On the other side, there was an ambulance waiting to turn left. But he did not see them and started to turn left. The riders were also driving a bit too fast, go scared of the ambulance blocking their way and then they crashed them sliding first into the opposite vehicle, motorcycle sliding into them.
The saddest part of this story is that the ambulance was not on an emergency route, just did not see the motorcycles, coming his way. The couple suffered serious injuries and even with the first aid help from ambulance staff and other, they both died at the scene.
Your situation may not be the same (ever), but you should know the first aid since you might be able to help yourself or fellow rider. Since professional help might not be there right away or be on the way to the accident.
Many of us took first aid course before we got a car license this is a mandatory part in almost all of Europe. But we do not have to take the course again if you are trying to get a motorcycle license. And it works both ways. If you got the license for motorcycle first, you do not have to take the first aid class again.
I mean both are very similar – in both you learn how to help injured people in an accident. But I believe that in first aid for motorcycle license there is more emphasis on helping other motorcyclists. I do believe there should be at least a refresher course before you get a motorcycle license. I mean look at me – I have had my driving license for almost 10 years. I learned about how to help an injured in an accident 10 years ago. So I feel, if you get another license, for any kind of category – you should renown your knowledge.
Do not agree with me? … Then answer me this, without Goggling it.
It is two blows to 100 – 120 presses a minute. But, the most important is not the ratio. The most important are the chest compressions that massage the heart and keep the blood pumping. The compression should be done with your arms starched, so you will press deep enough. One of the best advice on this topic I heard was at one of the safe driving schools. They advise you to sing a song and this way you will press on the chest in the rhythm that is most suitable for the heart. The song is ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by Bee Gees. This would also mean you do not even have to remove the helmet to perform mouth-to-mouth breathing. You can entirely focus on chest compressions.
Ok next question: How to properly take off the motorcyclist helmet?
If the is breathing somewhat normally and not vomiting, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT take off the helmet. It is always better to leave it on since it will serve as a neck support and if you take it off incorrectly, you can damage the spine.
Under some situations, you will have to take the helmet off anyway. These situations are: the injured motorcyclist is throwing up blood or vomit, having a panic attack or not breathing properly.
There are two ways to remove the helmet.
The first approach is a two-person job since you should not take the helmet off the injured solo. Always find another person to help you with this.
1. First, move the rider on the back and put his/her head into straight position.
2. One person slides his/her hands in the helmet from the bottom to secure neck and thus prevent spinal injuries.
3. Then, the other person who is kneeling at the head removes the helmet sliding it over, not raising it.
4. The first person should hold the neck and head in the same position as possible. Since the helmet was holding the neck in a level position, you should put something under the injured head, like a jacket. If you just put his/her head down on the ground, you can cause spinal injuries.
The other option is to take off the helmet by yourself if there are no helpers around. However, you should be aware that this situation more risky, but necessary, if previously mentioned previously mentioned situations occur. This removal is based on two-person helmet removal. The rider is on his back and his head is on the side.
1. Prepare a jacket or something you will out under the head of the injured once, you remove the helmet.
2. Kneel at the head of an injured rider, unhook the chin strap and move the head into straight position.
3. Hook your finger in the straps on each side, as to make the removal easier and foams ion the side smaller. After that, you start to pull the helmet.
4. Once you get the helmet to the point where you can put your right hand into the shell of the helmet and with your left hand, you cup the head. Also, make sure the left elbow is on the ground. Once the helmet comes completely off you will need to support the whole weight of the head with only your hand.
5. After you have secured the head in your left hand, you can slowly, without raising it, remove the helmet.
6. Finally, you put the jacket you prepared early under the head of the rider, as to prevent spinal injuries. Then you do not move his/her head anymore.
Ok, so this is a basic one. First, you take off the helmet; like it was described in the previous section and then you put the rider inside or recovery position. You all know that once – you turn the person on its side and put his/her limbs into locked position so they do not turn cannot turn on their back again. Also, make sure that the head is down and chin raised, so that they can breathe or even excrete fluids from the mouth. If he/she stops to throw up and is breathing normally, you should slowly and with extra care for the neck and spine, move him back on the side.
Lastly, I will show you what is in the first aid kits that motorcyclists are required by law to have on their motorcycles. It always helps to be prepared, since motorcycle first aid kit is rather small and have a lot less than those for cars.
The kit is the same as in all EU and it costs about 10 Euros here in Slovenia. Since it is meant for a motorcycle, the content is scarcer. Let take a lot what is inside and what is different from a car first aid.
– 1 x Bandage the type 3, 12 cm x 5 cm (in the car there are 2 x bandages type 3 and 3 x bandages type 2)
– 1 x Burn dressing Aluplast for burn 5 x 9 cm, sterile
– 1 x Burn dressing Aluplast for burn 50 × 60 cm, sterile
– 1 x Dressing, 5 × 5cm, sterile (in the car: 2 pieces)
– 1 x Dressing 10 x 10 cm, sterile (in the car: 6 pieces)
– 1 x Elastic bandages 8 cm x 4m (in the car there are 2 pieces of 8 cm x 4 cm and 1 piece of 10 cm x 4 cm)
– 1 x Triangle bandage, 100 × 100 × 140 cm (in the car: 3 pieces)
– 2 x Glove, 1 par (in car there are two pars)
– 1 x Laminate plastic for respiration on mouth
– 1 x Two-sided metalized foil for temperature control, 210 x160 cm
– 1 x Scissors with rounded tip
– 2 x Adhesive bandage, 10 × 8 cm (in the car: 5 pieces)
– 1 x Band-Aid, 1 cm x 1 m
– Instructions for first aid kit
– Packing list
As you can see from the list, the first aid kit for motorcycles has the same content as a first aid kit for the car. However, it has a lot less in the quantity department. It does help to know what you have in your first aid kit you are carrying with you around.
What does your first aid kit contain? More? Less? You can also send me what else do you think should be in first aid kit, but is not.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org