Importance of emergency care and medical checkup post-accident

Dr Sanjith Saseedharan, Head of Intensive Care Unit, S L Raheja Hospital, and Dr Sandeep Patil, Chief Intensivist and Physician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, shares how important is the emergency care after an accident and how does it make a difference.

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Mumbai has witnessed its fair share of casualties and in recent news, the unfortunate demise of 90’s remix singer Nitin Bali. Bali was injured after his car rammed a divider, he was taken to a hospital where he received emergency aid for facial injuries and was later discharged. However, his condition took a drastic turn, when he vomited blood at his residence. Even though he was rushed to the hospital once again, he succumbed to undiagnosed injuries from the accident, as his blood pressure and heart rate dropped.

Medical experts, in the past, have stressed the fact that a full-fledged medical examination must be conducted post-accident. Many times, the emergency response teams receive accident victims, who survive the accident without a scratch but they do not opt for medical aid. Unfortunately, these patients seek intervention when it is too late. One must go to a thorough medical examination and necessary investigations after an accident. Even if a person has no visible external injuries, they may have suffered injuries in internal organs due to accident’s impact, which can subsequently lead to death, if not diagnosed and treated on time.

­­One must seek medical help if the following symptoms show after an accident: 

A headache, vomiting, dizziness, transient loss of consciousness, convulsions, and nasal and ear bleed which are indicators for traumatic brain injuries

Persistent neck or back pain with numbness or weakness in limbs could indicate Spine injuries

Chest pain and breathlessness could indicate blunt trauma

Concussions may lead to Emotional Distress which includes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Here are some other important factors to keep in mind post a traumatic road accident to avoid any dangerous or fatal outcomes:

The topmost priority is to see a doctor right away post a motor vehicle accident, irrespective of its severity

The body goes on high alert post an accident. You may feel nervous, scared or even face hyperactivity; this is the body experiencing an adrenaline rush. This rush causes you do not experience any pain at that point. You will feel the aftermath of the incident once the adrenaline rush begins to fade away

There is a high chance that you may have experienced several injuries to the brain, head, spine, and neck. If not evaluated and treated on time, these injuries could progressively worsen

To be considered low risk, patients would need to meet all low-risk criteria. Thus, it is important to seek timely medical intervention, for visible and non-visible injuries.