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Punekar’s Tragic Death Proves Why We Should Never Skip Post-Accident Medical Care

Many injuries and deaths can be prevented if proper first aid is administered. Very often, there are absolutely no external injuries, but that should not be taken at face value."

For 36-year-old Dhiren Tiwari, a resident of Pune, Saturday was like any other day until he met with an accident. A little after midnight, when Dhiren was returning home, a Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) bus that had driven into a no-entry street slammed into his car. You can read about it in a report published in Pune Mirror.

What is surprising is that given the intensity of the accident, Dhiren emerged from the car without a scratch. He was lucid and insisted on going back home rather than a hospital for a check-up. All he complained of was being sleepy, given that it was well past midnight that might even have been normal.

Unfortunately, upon reaching home, his family members found him lying motionless in the cab. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Imagine the shock that his family members would be going through. Having no visible hurt or injury, Dhiren decided against going to the hospital, a decision that perhaps cost him his life.

The Better India spoke to Dr Abhisekh Jain, an orthopaedic surgeon at Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital, New Delhi. Here is what he had to say about the immediate care that an accident victim needs.

Dr Abhisekh says, “Many injuries and deaths can be prevented if proper first aid is administered. Very often, there are absolutely no external injuries, but that should not be taken at face value.”

“One must, without fail, head to a hospital and get a thorough check-up.”

Dr Abhisekh Jain

Back and neck injuries like herniated disks are not always immediately determinable. One might need to undergo a scan to rule out any possible damage. Immediate medical assistance can help you in the long run.

Signs to look out for:

1. Headaches

An accident victim might feel a dull to intense headache, which could also lead to nausea and uneasiness. Look out for any change in behavior – sudden dizziness, projectile vomiting, slurred speech, and even seizures, in some cases.

2. Neck and shoulder pain

The structure of the spinal column leaves it prone to injury. If upon the accident, there has been a direct impact on your neck and shoulder, do not ignore it. Seek immediate medical intervention.

Unexplained numbness may indicate a nerve or spinal cord injury.

Representational image
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3. Abdominal pain

Any bloating, pain in the abdomen, uneasiness, or swelling in the abdomen must be checked immediately. In some cases, it could be a symptom of internal injuries or internal bleeding. Internal soft-tissue injuries can cause stomach pain hours or days after an accident and require emergency treatment.

4. Emotional distress

After an accident, victims may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. If you find it difficult to get behind the wheel or function normally due to fear, seek help.

Dr Abhisekh also recommends asking a few questions after establishing that there are no visible external injuries. He says, “Ask the victim questions which they must know the answers to immediately – name, parent’s name, address, spouse’s name, etc. This will help to ascertain if the victim had any head injury or concussion.”

We do hope that you remember these points and seek immediate medical attention if ever in an accident.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

Cover Photo: Konda Reddy

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