6 things paramedics wish you knew – Bike Magazine Australia

No matter how good a cyclist you are, crashes happen. But before you jump back on your bike, run through this quick checklist from Greg Martin, an advanced Emergency Medical Technician, to be sure you’re really good to go. It could save your life.


You don’t want to mess with a possible concussion or bleeding on the brain. Get checked out if you have a cracked helmet, headache (even if it comes on later), confusion, vision changes, or if you lose consciousness.


If it hurts to breathe deeply, you might have a broken rib and should see a doctor. “Cracked ribs can have sharp edges,” Martin says. “And if it’s an unstable fracture and it shifts, it can puncture a lung.”


Palpate your abdominal area gently. A tender spot could mean internal damage to soft tissue or vital organs. If your belly becomes distended or firm, that’s a sign of possible internal bleeding. Seek medical attention.


Spinal cord injuries need immediate attention. If you have numbness and/or tingling in your fingers or toes, or discomfort when turning your head 45 degrees to the left or right, get to the hospital emergency room.


Forget what you’ve seen in movies about using a tourniquet; you risk doing more damage than good. Manage heavy bleeding by placing direct pressure (preferably with something clean) on the wound. Keep it there until you can see a doctor.


Make personal health and medication info easy to find. You can set up a Medical ID on an iPhone and make it available from the lock screen. Other options: Road ID, dog tags, or an ICEdot crash sensor that you can enable to share your location and medical information via text.

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