Traffic accidents are becoming all too common around West Texas. Are you prepared to render aid? You have a spare tire in your trunk, you probably have some jumper-cables, but do you have a first aid kit? Being prepared can save someone's life. 

The first thing to do if you are the first to roll up on an accident is to make sure you park out of the way to keep from becoming part of the accident. Call 911 and calmly tell them where the accident has occurred. Be sure to explain what happened, how many people were involved and the condition of the victims to the best of your ability.  Do not hang up the phone until the operator tells you to. Check for traffic and make sure it is safe for you to render aid to the victims. Remove your medical kit and proceed with caution. Check the area for downed power lines or other dangers.

Trauma and blood loss are the injuries you will probably be dealing with. It's a good idea to have surgical gloves, nitrile preferably since you don't know who might be allergic to latex. This will protect you from infection. If there is more than one person involved, triage in order of injury severity. ABC- Airway, Blood loss, Compression. The Red Cross provides first aid classes if you are unfamiliar with how to manage these types of injuries. Do not move the victim unless there is eminent danger of fire or explosion. Moving them could exacerbate the injuries. Talk to them, try to keep them conscious. Be positive and reassure them. Your job is to try to stabilize them until help arrives.

Here are some things you can include in your car's medical kit: 

Nitrile surgical gloves

Compresses-sanitary napkins are a good substitute.






Saline  wash

Cloth tape

Emergency blanket

Bottled water

A small square of balsa wood that can be made into splints

You can can also purchase kits that you can keep in your car at local stores or online. To best prepare yourself to help others, take a first aid course.