When faced with an emergency and someone gets injured, ideally, you should call for a trained professional to assist you. In most cases, do not move the injured person because it may cause further serious harm or you may become injured yourself. However, there are times when it is necessary to carry and move an injured person to a safer location.
If possible, call for emergency assistance first. The dispatcher will be able to assess the situation and instruct you to provide first aid. Then you know that medical help is on the way, even as you try to assist the injured person yourself. However, if you are unable to call for assistance, the danger is still present or you are isolated in a place with no means of communication, you will need to remove yourselves from the situation as soon as possible.
If you are by yourself or no one else can physically assist you, you need to know what to do. There is a proper way of carrying or transporting an injured person by yourself that will protect both of you from further harm. Here’s how:
- Disentangle the injured person from the environment. Clear the space surrounding the injured person. For example, if he is under heavy objects because something fell on him, remove anything weighing down on him and obstructing his breathing. Eliminate the cause of injury first. For example, if the person is on fire, smother the fire on his clothing before attempting transport. If the person got electrocuted, turn off the main switch.
- Provide any immediate first aid before attempting to move the person. Make sure the person is breathing. If there is an open wound, apply pressure to it first by binding it if possible.
- Assess if you have the strength to lift the person. If you can, here’s how to carry the person so your own back is supported. If the injured person is lying down, bend his knees so that his feet are flat on the ground.
- Stand in front of the person and place your feet a little over his feet to stabilize him as you lift.
- Reach across and hold both arms of the injured person.
- Pull the person towards you. As you do, turn your body at an angle or in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction. Do not let go of his arms. You should end up both facing the same direction, with his arms draped on your shoulders and his body on your back.
- Secure your hold on his arms. It is as if you are carrying the person like a backpack.
- You may now walk and drag the person to safety.
- If you feel you cannot lift and carry the person this way, the other option you have is to drag the person. Hold the person’s clothes by the shoulders. Your other option is to hold him by his ankles. Once your hold is secure, you can drag the person.
These steps are only to be taken in emergency situations where a trained professional is not available.