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World Trauma Day – October 17th

Dr. Mohammed Haneef M, HOD, Emergency Department, SUT Hospital, Pattom

October 17th is observed as Trauma Day all over the world. Accidents in our midst can result in injury, disability and death to a person. This day is observed with the aim of creating awareness in the general public about this issue and thereby reducing accidents.

Any injury to a person’s body is considered trauma. Trauma includes road accidents, falls from height, fire accidents, burns and domestic violence against women, children and elders. For many reasons, road accidents are at the forefront of these. Most road accidents cause temporary or permanent serious disabilities in people.

Studies show that 5 lakh people die due to road accidents in the world. About 10 lakh people die every year in India. Also 20 lakh people are admitted to hospitals. Observing the figures in India reveals that on an average 2 – 2.5 lakh road accidents take place every year. Deaths and disabilities are proportional to the number of accidents. Road accidents are mostly seen in young people. Their quality of life is seriously affected by such accidents. Even death occurs due to certain accidents, this loses the efficiency of the new generation to the society.

Other major factors leading to road accidents are the design and condition of the roads. Other risk factors include lack of adequate warning signs and poor quality road construction.

We can avoid accidents and the serious problems caused to the body to a great extent by following certain tips.

  • Strictly follow road traffic rules.
  • Pay attention to road signals and traffic signals.
  • Wear helmet during two-wheeler ride.
  • Avoid using mobile phones while driving.
  • When travelling long distances, take short breaks and continue the journey.
  • Keep electrical appliances, switches, sharp tools like knives and medicines out of reach of children.
  • Take safety precautions for children while travelling in vehicles.
  • Keep First Aid in vehicles.
  • Try to acquire the knowledge to take appropriate decision when an accident occurs.

Things you should not do after an accident

  • If you feel tired or drowsy while driving, stop driving immediately. Do not drink and drive.
  • Do not drive in such a manner as to cause danger to others and yourself.
  • Do not attempt to move the patient if the neck or spine has been severely injured in the accident. The patient should be repositioned only with the assistance of paramedical staff.
  • Do not pour water into the mouth of an unconscious person.

The theme of this year is ‘An emphasis on saving lives and how to properly attend to emergency cases’. Every citizen of our society should be aware of how to save life in case of an accident and how to intervene properly in emergency situations. Understand that avoiding accidents is the best way.