Department of Community Medicine, Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
Department of Epidemiology, WHO Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India, India
Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India
Injuries rank among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and are steadily increasing in developing countries like India. However, it is often possible to minimize injury and crash consequences by providing effective pre-hospital services promptly. In most low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), transportation of road traffic victims, is usually provided by relatives, taxi drivers, truck drivers, police officers and other motorists who are often untrained.
The current study was conducted to understand the current practice and perception of first aid among lay first responders in a rural southern district of India.
Materials and Methods
The current cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in the southern district of Tumkur in India within three months from January to March 2011 and covered the population including all police, ambulance personnel, taxi drivers, bus and auto drivers, and primary and middle school teachers within the study area.
Nearly 60% of the responders had witnessed more than two emergencies in the previous six months and 55% had actively participated in helping the injured person. The nature of the help was mainly by calling for an ambulance (41.5%), transporting the injured (19.7%) and consoling the victim (14.9%). Majority (78.1%) of the responders informed that they had run to the victim (42.4%) or had called for an ambulance. The predominant reason for not providing help was often the ‘fear of legal complications’ (30%) that would follow later. Significant number (81.4%) of respondents reported that they did not have adequate skills to manage an emergency and were willing to acquire knowledge and skills in first aid to help victims.
Regular and periodical community-based first aid training programs for first care responders will help to provide care and improve outcomes for injured persons.