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Providing First Aid After Vehicle Crashes in Times of Coronavirus

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      Providing First Aid After Vehicle Crashes in Times of Coronavirus

      To avoid the spread of coronavirus it is important to practice social distancing. By keeping minimum 2 meters social distance the risk of transmission is reduced.

      However, when a driver provides first aid after a vehicle crash it is not always possible to respect the 2 meters rule. This doesn’t mean that a driver cannot provide first aid. It means that, when providing first aid, a driver should first and foremost take care of his/her own safety and the safety of the victim.

      Fleet Managers / despatchers should ensure that drivers are aware of the procedures around providing first aid after vehicle crashes. Below is information from the Dutch Red Cross and the NHS.

      When Providing First Aid: 

      • Limit the physical contact as much as possible when providing first aid to a person with (suspected) coronavirus.
      • If you need to aid an individual who is symptomatic and may haveCOVID-19, wherever possible, place the person in a place away from others. If it is not possible to create a separate space, ask others who are not involved in aiding stay at least 2 metres away from the individual. If barriers or screens are available, these may be used.
      • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after providing first aid to minimize the risk of virus contraction. This also applies for small treatments such as putting on band-aids or bandages.
      • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
      • Use and dispose of allPPEaccording to the instructions and training previously provided by your employer or organisation. Disposable gloves and fluid repellent surgical face mask is recommended and, if available, disposable plastic apron and disposable eye protection (such as face visor or goggles) should be worn. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before putting on and after taking offPPE.
      • The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus does not spread through blood, burns or damaged skin. Skin wounds can therefore be treated with the normal precautions. At all times you should take care of your own safety, wash your hands before and after the first aid.
      • Never provide first aid when you suspect you have coronavirus or in case you have coronavirus symptoms (ever, cough and difficulty breathing).
      • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
        If you are required to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), you should conduct a risk assessment and adopt appropriate precautions for infection control. Where possible, it is recommended 

              that you do not perform rescue breaths or mouth-to-mouth ventilation; perform chest compressions                         
              only.
              If a decision is made to perform mouth-to-mouth ventilation in asphyxial arrest, use a resuscitation face
              shield where available.
              Should you have given mouth-to-mouth ventilation there are no additional actions to be taken other than
              to monitor yourself for symptoms of possibleCOVID-19over the following 14 days

             Hand hygiene
             After contact with the individual, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol hand rub
             at the earliest opportunity.
             Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and/or nose, unless you have recently cleaned your hands after having
             contact with the individual.


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