My Personal Experience
About 25 years ago I came upon an accident on a windy mountain road. I had a helpless feeling of not knowing what to do as the second person on the scene. Even though, the injuries appeared minor, the situation led me to taking CPR and Advanced First Aid training.
Luckily, our instructor was an experienced EMT who had responded to many accidents on a stretch of road used by the 100MileClub. On that road, motorcyclists would attempt to run a 100 mile mountain course in one hour. But, one cyclist wrecked and when help came he was up and about, talking, and in a bit of a daze. He was asked for his ID and as he turned to reach for his ID, he dropped dead! A bit dramatic, but this story impressed upon me the dangers of hidden injuries. His neck was broken and he didn’t know it. In fact, it is common for a cervical collar to be placed on an accident victim as a precaution. Just in case!
Don’t Assume You are Not Hurt
When we get into accidents, it’s easy to downplay our injuries. But that, ultimately, can work against us. Also, most insurance companies want people to visit their doctor within 48 hours of an accident. This helps rule out whiplash, concussions, fractures, bruising, sprains, strains, facet syndrome etc. The sooner you seek care, the better your health outcomes.
It’s common in our workaholic culture to take an anti-inflammatory or pain medication in order to get on with life. However, that may be the very thing that exacerbates any new issues down the road. First, masking pain will give you the impression that your injuries are less severe and don’t need to be addressed. Second, an anti-inflammatory will work against the body’s attempt to stabilize your injury.
So, with this in mind, here is a suggested checklist for post-accident care.
What to Do After an Accident
- See a health professional for an assessment of possible injuries such as whiplash, concussions, or sprains within 48 hours.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get sleep. (If there has been a head injury, follow professional advice!)
- Eat for optimal healing.
- Avoid anti-inflammatories and/or painkillers that may mask issues and hamper healing.
- If anti-inflammatories and/or painkillers are prescribed, be sure to avoid any strenuous activity so the body can heal.
If you or your loved ones are in accident, get checked out right away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Want to learn more about how to protect yourself BEFORE an accident…read Save Thousands $$$ in a Car Accident.
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Guest Blogger: Martha de Forest is a dual degree engineer and certified integrative hypnotherapist. She has been married for over 30 years and has raised two daughters.