What to do after a fall

What to do after a fall

First aid

A fall can happen due to accidents at home or at work, when climbing on chairs, tables and slipping down stairs, but it can also occur due to fainting, dizziness or hypoglycemia that can be caused by the use of specific medications or some diseases.

Before treating a person who has suffered a serious fall, it is important not to move the person, as there could be a fractured spine and internal bleeding and if inappropriate movement is carried out it could worsen the victim’s health condition.

After witnessing a person falling, you need to check if they are conscious, asking their name, what happened and then, depending on the intensity, height, location and severity, you need to call for help and call the SAMU ambulance on 192.

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Therefore, the steps to follow according to the type of fall are:

1. Light fall

A light fall is characterized when a person falls from their own height or from a place less than 2 meters and can occur, for example, when riding a bicycle, slipping on a smooth floor or falling from a chair, and first aid for this type of Fall requires the following care:

  1. Check for the presence of bruises on the skinobserving any signs of bleeding;
  2. If you have a wound, you need to wash the affected area. with water, soap or saline solution and do not apply any type of ointment without medical advice;
  3. An antiseptic solution can be appliedbased on thimerosal, if there is an abrasion-type wound, which is when the skin is chafed;
  4. Cover the area with a clean or sterile dressingto prevent infection.

If the person is elderly or has osteoporosis, it is always important to consult a general practitioner, as even if they did not have any visible symptoms or signs at the time of the fall, some type of fracture may have occurred.

Also, if even in the case of a slight fall, the person has hit their head and is drowsy or vomiting, it is necessary to seek urgent medical attention, as they may have a skull injury.

2. It remains serious

A serious fall occurs when a person falls from a height of over 2 meters, such as on high stairs, balconies or terraces and the first aid that should be provided in this case is:

  1. Call an ambulance immediatelycalling number 192;
  2. Check if the victim is awake, calling the person and checking if they respond when called.
  3. Do not take the victim to the hospitalit is necessary to wait for the ambulance to respond, as healthcare professionals are trained to mobilize people after suffering a fall.
  4. If you are unconscious, check breathing for 10 secondsby observing the movement of the chest, listening to whether the air comes out through the nose and feeling the exhaled air;
  5. If the person is breathingit is important to wait for the ambulance to continue specialized care;
  6. Nonetheless, if the person is NOT breathing:
  • It is necessary to start cardiac massageswith one hand over the other without bending the elbows;
  • If you have a pocket masktake 2 breaths every 30 cardiac massages;
  • These maneuvers must be continued without moving the victim and only stop when the ambulance arrives or when the person starts breathing again;

If the person is bleeding, the bleeding can be controlled by applying pressure to the area with the help of a clean cloth, however, this is not recommended in the case of bleeding in the ear.

It is also important to always check if the victim’s hands, eyes and mouth are blue or if they are vomiting, as this could mean internal bleeding and head trauma. Find out more about other symptoms of head trauma and treatment.

How to avoid serious injuries

Some accidents can happen to children at home, due to serious falls from furniture, strollers, walkers, cribs and windows, which is why some adaptations to the home are necessary, such as placing screens on the windows and keeping the child under constant supervision. Check out what to do if a child falls and hits their head.

Elderly people are also at risk of suffering serious falls, whether due to slipping on carpets, wet floors and steps or because they have an illness that causes weakness, dizziness and tremors, such as diabetes, labyrinthitis and Parkinson’s disease. In these cases, it is necessary to take care in everyday life, such as removing obstacles from corridors, securing carpets with tape, wearing non-slip shoes and walking with the aid of canes or walkers.