Trap for Good Samaritan

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Many of us know how to provide first aid, or at least to know about what to do with bleeding, drowning, heart failure, fractures, etc. And if someone get hurt in Russia, it is a good chance that among the passers-by will be people that will stop the bleeding and will impose a bandage on the beach and if someone starts to sink, it is likely to save, will pull out of the water and even make artificial respiration. Meanwhile, in America, as a rule, aid has arrived brigade EMS (Medical Emergency Service), and prior to their arrival viewers try not to touch the victim. The reasons for this behavior are clear — all are afraid of lawsuits that will excite himself oklemalas injured or his family.

At first glance it seems absurd — and saves the life of a person is in the dock. However, in reality there are many ways to hurt people, and even send it to the light, acting of the most well-intentioned.

Long ago, when I was in medical school, in the classroom for surgery we were told the case. Woman hit by a car on Leninsky Prospekt near the 1st city hospital. The driver, a young man, horrified his crime, the victim picked up and carried her to the emergency room. After a short time she died of a fat embolism — during hasty transportation sharp ends of broken bones fractured leg fat tissue by mixing the fat from the blood. The intentions of a young man certainly had the best intentions, but the result of his actions was sad. Of course he could not know that the victim in the accident should not touch until the arrival of doctors, but his ignorance no one would bring harm if he limited himself to calling an ambulance.

Examples of how inept can destroy the victim's chances of survival set. More often than not — it attempts to carry anywhere accident victims or "arrange them yourself comfortable." For example, fell from the window of a man lying on the cold snow, and carry it into the house, thereby displacing the fractured vertebrae. The driver sits in a crumpled car, uncomfortable throwing back his head, he is taken out of the car and lay on the ground, hopelessly shifting cervical vertebrae. In the affected breast is sticking a knife, it is removed from the wound, and the man dies from blood loss and shock. It hurt his hand man bleeding heavily, and kind-hearted viewers impose his harness from the scraps of clothing, about which safely forgotten. Hand must be amputated. Etc. etc.

So maybe it does not need to touch the victims? Let the doctors do their job, why are amateurs intervention? But the thing is that sometimes the difference between "to be or not to be" measured in minutes or even seconds. Judge for yourself, the brain cells can live without oxygen only a few minutes. And the longer a anoxia, the more damage to the brain cells. But even in the fastest team animators must have at least ten or fifteen minutes to get to the scene. If the accident occurred in the woods or the mountains? However, if someone is injured lungs breathe in the air (even in the air we breath is still quite a lot of oxygen), and rhythmically press on the chest (do chest compressions), the chances of a person to survive until rescuers arrived to grow substantially. Of course, begin rescue breathing is best immediately after cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest.

Immediate help can also prevent shock, severe blood loss, hypothermia and many other serious complications. It is imperative to immediately administer artificial respiration and cardiac massage, beach drowning. It turns out that many people have preserved the ancient "diving reflex" — slowing down the metabolism and decrease in oxygen consumption by immersion in cold water. Thanks to this reflex man sometimes survives, having been under water for about an hour (the colder the water, the higher the odds). Particularly well this reflex works in children (and they are also more likely to drown). However, the diving reflex on land immediately disappears, and then the bill comes back for seconds. Unfortunately, in most cases, an ambulance arrives too late.

So, on the one hand an inexperienced person can do just what to do in this situation in any case it is impossible, but on the other hand, it is timely help sometimes can save human lives. Attempts to solve this problem gave rise to "Good Samaritan Law" (The Good Samaritan Law), acting now in all U.S. states.

The wording of the law vary from state to state. However, most often the law protects from prosecution those who gratuitously and in good faith, renders first aid, but it also allows to punish those who out of ignorance or out of malice, caused harm to the victim. Thus, the Law of the Good Samaritan is Scylla and Charybdis, by which you want to swim in order to get to safety.

First, in most states, the law does not protect the rescue workers who have shown a blatant ignorance (ignorance of the examples we have already seen). It is clear that the ordinary person with no medical training, may not be aware that in the circumstances or that an action is unacceptable. In addition, different judges may have their own ideas about what constitutes a flagrant ignorance. Therefore, there is a First Aid manual — detailed instructions dictating the sequence of actions for each emergency. Rules are made by doctors and updated every two years. The probability that a person acting on the instructions exactly, accused of blatant ignorance or malice, is extremely low. On the contrary, any violation of this instruction threatens trouble. Therefore, those who are inclined to do good and brave deeds, it is better to take courses in first aid (First Aid / SPR). In the courses in detail tell what you can and can not do in each case. As a general rule, you can not move the victim to give any medication, food and drinks, bandage wounds, broken bones, reduce a dislocated joints, and even flexes muscle cramped. By the way, remember all the details is almost impossible, so you have to just wear with a guide to first aid and look into it before you do anything.

Second, there is a certain ethical behavior on the spot. In particular, if the person is conscious, then, before you assist him, to seek his consent. This is why victims of accidents ask stupid, at first glance, the question "Are you OK?". If the victim responds, "O, I'm fine, don't worry" and refuses to help, then it should be left alone, even if he has broken the head or arm torn off. To assist without the permission of the victim as soon as possible if he is unconscious.

Sometimes the crowd surrounding the victim, are doctors or nurses. It is possible that they will stand by watching your attempts to give first aid, without betraying its presence — the law does not oblige them to help the victim. But just in case you need to ask if any of the witnesses to the incident doctors, and if they show up, try to shift care about the victim on their shoulders.

Interestingly, from the moment that people started to help the victim of an accident, to a certain extent he accepts responsibility for him and the whole situation. For example, a voluntary rescuer can be held liable if he prematurely stopped trying to save, especially if he left the victim in a worse position than before to help. So, before you start the rescue operation, call the EMS (or see to it that it made some of the passers-by) and did not throw the victim prior to the arrival of professionals.

Fortunately, lawsuits against the rescuers are rare. But they do happen, especially if the victim believes that the actions of rescue led to the deterioration of the situation, and that had it not been near a lifeguard with his kind heart, everything would be fine. In this case, it is very important to have someone confirmed that the rescuer acted in good faith and did not commit blunders while. Therefore, yielding a noble impulse, and to assist the victims, we must not forget to write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses to the incident.

In conclusion, I note that the show blatant ignorance for first aid is very easy, as there are many rules that can know only those who are properly trained. For example:

  • If someone is choking on — you can not knock him on the back.
  • Knife or any other object in the wound — you can not remove.
  • If a person is cold — not warm it in warm water, giving vodka, coffee or tea.
  • Frostbite — must not rubbing, you can not warm up to the arrival of doctors.
  • Sprained hand — you can not reduce a.
  • Broken bones — you can not combine the bone splint.
  • When a snake bites — do not cut on the site of the bite, suck out the poison, drag the bitten limb tourniquet, apply ice.
  • Fainting — you can not clap on the cheeks, nose to hold the liquid ammonia and splashed cold water in his face.
  • Bleeding from the nose — do not advise the victim's head tilted back or lie down, do not plug it nose with cotton wool.

So how do you avoid falling into the ingenious traps, which the law set up the Good Samaritans? Usually the manuals of first aid with the following guidelines:

  • act strictly within the limits of your skill level;
  • soberly assess your ability to help;
  • necessarily ask the victim if he wanted to bit of help;
  • Do only what is necessary to save lives;
  • explain to the victim that you are going to do;
  • Before you do anything, call an ambulance.

"Seagull" # 8 (8) of 7 November 2003


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