How to lift an accident victim – Basic principles of lifting and moving an accident victim without causing further injury. First aid tips to help an injured accident victim.
If a proper method of lifting is used, even a critical victim can be lifted without undue strain for the first aider. The basic principles of lifting a victim are as follows.
Use the most powerful muscles of your body for lifting e.g. muscles of the thigh, hip and shoulder.
Keep the weight of the victim as close to your body as possible.
Keep your back straight and head erect. Do not bend your back as you can hurt yourself. Bend your knees instead.
Hold the victim close to your body using your shoulders to support the weight.
Use your entire upper limb to strengthen your grasp on victim’s body.
If the victim begins to slip from your grip, let him slide slowly and gently to the ground without causing further damage to the injured area.
Do not try to hold him up at any cost, because you may injure your own back in that process.
Manual lifts – Learn how to lift a victim by different methods
Carries for one first aider.
Cradle method : It is used when the victim weighs less or is a child. Carry the victim comfortably from below the shoulder and knees with the hands.
Drag method : It involves pulling the victim along the ground without lifting him. It is used when the victim is unable to stand and must be moved quickly from a source of danger.
Fold the victim’s arms across the chest and crouch behind his shoulders, grasp the armpits, cradle the head on your forearms and drag him along the ground.
Human crutch : It is used to support a conscious victim who is able to walk with support. Stand at the victim’s side. Injured side is preferred.
Place his nearest arm around your neck and hold it with your free hand. Put your other arm around his waist and grasp his clothes at the hip. Give him a walking stick for additional support.
Fireman’s lift : It is used to move a conscious or unconscious child or a lightweight adult when a hand has to be kept free.
Help the casualty to stand up. If the casualty is unconscious or unable to stand, turn the casualty face down and stand at the head. Place your arms under his armpits and raise him on to the knees and then the feet.
Grasp his right wrist with your left hand. Bend down with your head under his extended right arm so that your shoulder is level with the lower part of his abdomen. Allow him to fall gently across your shoulders.
Place your right arm between or around the his legs. Stand up, taking his weight on your right shoulder. Gently pull the victim across both shoulders.
Hold his right wrist with your right hand leaving your left hand free.
On your back : It is used if the victim is small, light, conscious and able to hold on to you.
These are the basic methods of first aid that teach you how to lift an accident victim, without causing further injury to the victim.