Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stay Safe Out There

This useful reminder and link to a Bicycling Magazine article on responding to an accident showed up in my Facebook feed yesterday and is too good not to share.  Titled “7 Things EMTs Wish You Knew about Bike Crashes,” this article by Selene Yeager includes this beneficial advice from an Emergency Medical Technician that can help you keep a bad situation from getting worse: 

Photo courtesy of Fairfax County government.

  • Always take an impact to the head seriously. Call 911 if you or another rider has a cracked helmet, a headache, lost consciousness, confusion, or vision changes. 
  • If it hurts to take a deep breath, get to the ER.
  • Take your hands and palpate your abdominal area. If you have an area that is more tender than others, you could have internal damage. If your belly becomes distended or firm, that’s a sign that you could have internal bleeding and need medical assistance stat.
  • Stop the bleeding with basic first aid—direct pressure (preferably with something clean) on the wound. Keep it there till help arrives.
  • Be smart about neck and back injuries by checking your fingers and toes - any numbness and/or tingling is not good and may indicate a spinal injury. Discomfort in slowly turning your head 45 degrees to the left and right is a sign of spinal injury and a need to get to the ER.
  • Make your personal info accessible with Road ID, dog tags, or place ICE ('in case of emergency') information in your cell phone.
  • Leave a note or a text when riding alone. 

Safety is an important aspect of making bicycling better in Fairfax, and FABB encourages riders to always be aware of the need to be careful when out on the roads and trails. And, don't forget to show some love to Fairfax's great EMTs whenever you get the opportunity. 

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