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The Car Accident

Updated on October 23, 2011
I wanted to get a pic of the actual accident, but on second thought decided the victims wouldn't appreciate that.
I wanted to get a pic of the actual accident, but on second thought decided the victims wouldn't appreciate that. | Source

If you've ever been involved in a car accident, you know how traumatic it is. I was sitting peacefully inside my apartment, reading a book. I heard the most hellacious screeching noises, a honking car horn, then a terrible thud. There was a car accident, right on my doorstep, practically.

Since the car accident took place immediately outside my building, I slipped on my shoes and ran outside. I had some emergency medical training, in college. It was an elective offered to complete my physical education credits. (I was never any good at gym class). I thought, from the horrible sounds, somebody might be in a whole lot of trouble.

Naturally, my immediate impulse was to offer help. Whenever there's a car accident, people slow down. Sometimes people are rubbernecking, or thrilled at the excitement of a disaster. Sometimes it's more that innate human desire to help someone in desperate trouble.

I saw two cars, both horribly bent and mangled. In the one car, the lady driver was on the cell phone with someone and appeared to be okay--she was conscious, she wasn't conspicuously bleeding anywhere, and usually people that are able to talk, and aren't screaming in pain, are gonna be okay. I'd leave well enough alone there, and let the authorities handle her part of the car accident.

I went to the other car. A man was standing outside the car, also on a cell phone. He said, "911 just answered with a recording and put me on hold."

I looked at the lady in the driver's seat of the car. She was not conscious. I checked her pulse. She had a pulse. I listened for her breathing--I couldn't hear any breathing, her chest wasn't moving!! Oh, no!! We had to DO SOMETHING, right away, to help this lady.

The guy standing outside the car helped me to get her disentangled from the collapsing air bag and seat belt, and helped me to wrestle the poor lady out of the car. I laid her on her side, ran my fingers over the inside of her mouth. I felt sure there was something obstructing her airway, I could feel it at the back of her throat, and she was bleeding from the mouth. I had the guy hold her head firmly in place, then whacked her on the back, solidly. I was prepared to flip her on her back and start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, if this didn't work. We had lots of practice on Resuscitation Annie in EMT class, and I hoped I remembered enough of it to do it right.

Fortunately, I didn't have to. A piece of the woman's tongue flew from her mouth; she gasped sharply and opened her eyes. She had bit off the tip of her tongue from the force of the collision, then aspirated it.

I had the guy keep holding her head steady. I said to her, "Don't swallow: spit on the ground. You're gonna be alright. Don't move anymore, let's wait for the paramedics."

Her tongue kept bleeding like crazy, but there was very little I could do about that. I didn't want her moved anymore. I hoped like everything she wasn't concussed or had any spinal injuries, because getting her from the car might very well have aggravated those injuries. Normally, if the lady was breathing, and there was a pulse, I would have left her in the car, though unconscious.

The thing about it is, I learned in EMT class, and remember this well: if a person isn't breathing, we have only seven minutes to do something for that person; the person could be dead in seven minutes, otherwise. A person may suffer some brain damage after only 4 or 5 minutes without air. Car accident deaths are often from strangulation or lack of oxygen to the brain.

This is the real bones of this hub: American Red Cross sponsors Emergency Medical Technician training classes all throughout the United States. I'm sure European countries have something similar. If I hadn't had the benefit of those classes, I would not have known what to do. I would have been helpless to help the lady. Truly, she might have died, right there and then, from that car accident and from no one knowing what to do to help her. It really would have been too late by the time the pros showed up. They took thirteen minutes to respond.

These classes tell you what to do. They also tell you what NOT to do, which is almost even more important. As I mentioned earlier, if the lady was breathing, and she had a pulse, I would have left her in the car. I wouldn't have moved her.

What emergency medical training is GREAT for, is the real emergency--when a person isn't breathing, when they have no pulse, when they are choking, or when they are bleeding profusely. This training enables a person to help in those real emergency situations, when a life may depend on just a little bit of knowledge.

I had a friend in school who was in the EMT classes with me. He eventually made a career as a paramedic, after first serving in a volunteer ambulance facility for two or three years. He is much happier in this career than he was as a tool and die maker, though he doesn't earn as much money.

I also had another friend, who was in those same classes with me. She was able to save her little daughter's life after a swimming pool accident, because she knew what to do!

Most of the time, maybe 95% of the time, it's much better to wait for the professional medical people to come to assist. But that 5% of the time, when the situation is critical and there is no time to wait, it really helps to know what to do. That 5% of the time often includes car accidents--maybe car accidents most of all; next is choking in restaurants, and third is swimming pool or drowning incidents.

If you are unemployed, semi-employed, retired, semi-retired, or semi-self-employed, or any permutation of the above situations, maybe getting an EMT certificate could be the path to a new career. Or, maybe it could save a life!

You just never know when this knowledge will come in handy. If you live in snowy country, winter weather can cause car accidents very frequently, and you never know whose life you might save.


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    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Micky Dee and Sofs for your wonderful and supportive comments.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      God bless you dear. Emergency medical training should be taught in high-school and -on. Thank you.

    • sofs profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh Yes, God does watch over his little life saving angels .. doesn't He ? :) :) Reading your story I am sure He does :) God Bless :):):)

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Sofs, thank you for the comment. I'm glad I was there and had that wee bit of knowledge. I hadn't had the opportunity to use it in thirty years or so, but that type of info sticks with a person. I think it would have been wrong to try mouth-to mouth rescusitation; the Heimlich maneuver would have been better; her airway needed to be cleared. I had that thought late last night. It was so lucky the back-whacking worked; if I had moved on to mouth-to-mouth, I might have driven the bit of tongue deeper into her lungs and hurt instead of helped. So I can only think God was watching over both of us as one lady commented earlier.

    • sofs profile image


      9 years ago

      Great message here Paradise, you are an inspiration. I am glad that you had the knowledge and decided to use it. Can there be a greater act than being able to save someone's life. Wow, now you have got me thinking..Thanks for sharing :)

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, mega, for the comment and for the advice. I'll try it right away.

      Scary, it is really frightening when you have a person that's unable to breathe. Anyone would want to do something to alleviate that, anyone would want to jump in there and help. If you've ever seen a person unable to breathe, you know they don't have very long unless you can help them. So I really am just so glad I took that course, basically, to get out of going to gym in college!

      Monke, oh, go for it! Do it, if you can. You'll find knowing what to do in an emergency very empowering.

    • monke555 profile image


      9 years ago

      This was a super inspiring Hub. I'm so glad that you didn't hesitate to assist the victims! Makes me want to consider taking some emergency training classes...

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      9 years ago from South Wales

      Tremendous work, No.7. Thank goodness you knew what to do. You're right, this training is invaluable.

    • mega1 profile image


      9 years ago

      Really, the word awesome does describe this hub. Well done, and useful, and helpful too! I've never had to use the training I have, other than for small scrapes and injuries. I'm still glad I know the basics. I hope I have the same courage you did to really be helpful and save someone if I ever have to.

      as for the blood on your pants - try soaking overnight in cold water, get one of those spot & stain remover sticks they make and use it for a pre-wash treatment, then wash in warm water (not hot) and if there is still a stain after that, repeat only wash with some regular bleach. I know this works because the guy I work for gets nosebleeds all the time! Just don't put the pants in the dryer until you are satisfied that all the stain is gone.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for the comment, Poohgranma. I agree so much!

    • Poohgranma profile image


      9 years ago from On the edge

      Talk about the right place at the right time! All of you shared in God's plan on that day. Congratulations and thanks for writing a very informative and most needed hub!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much for that comment, Roy. You are so right--I was glad I was there. I was also glad I didn't hesitate, because I had that bit of training and therefore knew what to do. Support the RED CROSS! The life you save could be your own.

      PS: Anybody know how to get blood out of white cotton twill pants?

    • Roy Perrin profile image

      Roy Perrin 

      9 years ago from Jacksonville, NC

      There's no feeling like that of saving someone's life. That may be a selfish way to look at it, but I'm sure the person whose life you save won't care why you did it!

      Support your local organizations like Red Cross, United Way, YMCA, etc.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Matt, AA and Sunnie: Thank you all for the comments. I'm all for mandatory basic first aid training in HIGH SCHOOL! You really do never know. I also think anybody who is a parent, anybody in charge of kids, should have some basic first aid training. We really do never know. I'm sure both ladies never anticipated being in a car accident when they got in their cars this morning.

      Update: both ladies are okay! The lady who bit her tongue is gonna be just fine--thankfully no spinal injury, no concussion. Her daughter tracked me down to thank me, at her mother's request. The paramedics found the piece of tongue, took it with them, and they've sewed it back together! The poor women will suffer some but should FULLY RECOVER! Thank the Lord.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      9 years ago

      Very encouraging hub...I am a retired nurse as of this year and every year we take the class...I have had to use it a few times and thankfuly, that I had this training. I encourage anyone to take this course as you never know. The worst fear would be to stand there not knowing what to do to help save a life...of course there is never any guarantee’s...but at least you tried...Thank you.


    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Outstanding hub. All people should receive basic first aid training, you'll never know when you'll need to use it!

    • mattdigiulio profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles


      Wow. Gripping stuff. Voting up


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