Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Wake-Up Call

Coming home this evening, my wife and I happened upon the scene of an accident a few miles from our home. The police had not quite arrived when we pulled over to help, and we rushed to the scene to see what we could do.

Apparently, a forty-year-old man on a bicycle with no helmet or lights of any kind (who should have known better) was traveling downhill at a good speed. A car pulling out of a side street into the street upon which the bicyclist was riding could not see the cyclist in the dark. Fortunately, the cyclist was able to apply his brakes before the impact, but he still broad-sided the car, subsequently flying over the top of the car, landing on the pavement some ten feet further down the road.

Stunned, and sitting against a streetlight pole, he was bleeding profusely from multiple scalp lacerations, and was holding his right arm at an angle against his body. He told us he was sure he had broken his collar-bone and I surmised that he was right. I performed some cursory First Aid until the ambulance arrived and took control of the situation.

Leaving the scene, I gave thanks for the rudimentary homemade First Aid kit which I always have in my trunk. I also made a mental note that the kit needs to be more organized, with gloves and simple gauze sponges quickly available. I embarassingly spent more than a minute rummaging through the mess to find my gloves and gauze, and next time I want those items to be so easily found that it barely takes a moment to extract them. I also realized that we need a similar kit in my wife's car, and will begin the process of making that happen forthwith.

To all of you potential and actual good samaritans, there's nothing better than the peace of mind you'll have with a properly maintained First Aid kit living in each of your cars. I hope that you will consider the notion, dear Reader, and follow suit yourself.

And one more thing---please encourage your bicyclist friends and family members to use helmets and safety lights. Head injury is forever, and you might just save a life with such advice.
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