Quick response by emergency medical services to vehicle crashes is an important way to reduce the severity of injuries.
Crash victims have a better chance of recovery, or avoiding death, if they receive quick medical treatment at the scene of an injury (often referred to as ‘the golden hour’). For this reason, improving first aid skills for the general public is also a good way to improve survivability after a crash has occurred.
Significant improvements in safety outcomes can be made from improving existing emergency response services, especially where these are currently poor.
The World Bank suggests the following factors are important for effective post-crash care:
- efficient emergency notification
- fast transport of qualified medical personnel
- correct diagnosis at the scene
- stabilization of the patient
- prompt transport to the point of treatment
- quality emergency room and trauma care
- extensive rehabilitation services.
Other emergency services (such as the police or fire brigade) can help make responses times quicker by giving medical services teams accurate information about the location, and the number and severity of injuries. Post-crash response: supporting those affected by road traffic crashes provides guidelines to help improve post-crash care.