The consequences of a motorcycle accident are sometimes very serious. This is what scares both the pilots themselves and their loved ones. Almost every day we read the terrible details of accidents, what to do if you become an eyewitness or a participant? Whether to remove the motorcycle helmet from the victim and how to do it correctly?
Most common injuries
After a serious accident, it is not recommended to remove the helmet from the motorcyclist unless absolutely necessary before the arrival of the doctors.
Why is it so? In motorcyclists, during a fall / collision, the head, cervical vertebrae and the spine itself are most affected. Therefore, removing a helmet sometimes injures a person even more, especially when it comes to the cervical spine.
If the injured person can breathe on their own, then it is enough to first raise or remove the visor altogether, but do not rush with the helmet.
You still do not know the condition of the motorcyclist, whether the vertebrae are damaged, how serious his injuries are, so do not rush. An exception, of course, is when the victim is able to remove the helmet himself, but here it is better to be careful. There are injuries that you do not immediately notice due to the state of shock. For example, the driver received a shoulder injury and a crack in the radius (yes, this is also a hand), it seems to him that everything is in order, but the effort with which he takes off his helmet indirectly affects the injuries received. Even minor injuries to the hands after a hard landing on the asphalt are sometimes achieved by removing the helmet. You may not have felt a fracture in the bone of your finger due to shock, by the way, poor motor skills were attributed to fear – this also happens.
How to raise the visor to avoid injury to the rider
The visor is raised to allow the rider to breathe and speak. If you suspect serious injury, it is best to ask someone for help. One person holds the victim’s head firmly and holds the helmet so you can open the visor. Grab the chin of the helmet and only then open it so as not to harm the cervical vertebrae with unnecessary movements. If there is no one next to you, and you need to open the visor, then sit on the back of the wounded man’s head, gently grip the helmet with your knees and, also holding the chin, open the visor.
Do not turn the victim’s head until you understand what is happening to him. The plan: to run up, turn the person around and then open the visor is bad. That’s right: run up, open the visor – assess the person’s condition, do you need to turn it? After opening the visor, you understand whether the motorcyclist is breathing and how he breathes (hard, often, etc.). Remove glasses from the victim, if any. Is the person conscious? By the eyes and the reaction of the pupils, it is possible to assess the approximate state of a person against the background of a visual examination, respiratory rate and pulse.
If a person loses consciousness, all the muscles in his body begin to relax. You need to know this, because the tongue is also a muscle. If the rider lies on his back, the tongue literally sinks in and blocks the airways. Therefore, the victim is turned on his side. If a person has a suspicion of a spinal injury, but he has lost consciousness and there is a danger of difficulty breathing, experts recommend holding the wounded jaw forward so that he can breathe until he regains consciousness.
The helmet can only be removed if you are sure that the victim does not have a spinal injury. BUT: if you are not sure that you can remove the helmet from a person correctly, do not touch it.
– Yes, I have been wearing a helmet all my life, can I really not take it off? – someone will say.
The problem is that removing a helmet from another person, especially a wounded person, is not an easy task. It is easy to remove only an open helmet, other helmets will make you sweat and it is better to do it with four hands for safety.
The helmet must be removed if the wounded cannot breathe on his own or if dirt, sand, stones, soil are crammed under the visor. Here you have to choose whether to risk taking off your helmet without being sure that your neck is not injured. At such moments, I would like to erect a monument to people who invented a folding cheek for helmets.
How to remove a helmet from a victim
Some helmets have systems to facilitate removal. But in any case, one person must hold the head of the injured person, and the second takes off the helmet. Speaking of systems. Not everyone knows about their existence and are unlikely to be able to immediately find out that the helmet is with a “gift”. Different brands have different designations for the emergency helmet removal system. For example, Arai (the first helmet brand with such a function), they call it the Cheekpad emergency release system. At the same time, in the Bell brand, this option is called the emergency release system – Magnefusion. For LS2, the EQRS feature is called Emergency Retrieval System.
The point is that the helmet needs to fit snugly in order to fully protect the rider’s head, but this becomes a problem when the helmet needs to be removed. Therefore, the developers came up with a principle that helps to remove part of the helmet filling.
Whichever helmet you have to save a person, there will be some icons on the body indicating what to do with this helmet. Emergency release systems have red straps or straps indicating that they must be pulled to remove the helmet filling. BUT. If you’ve never done this, the system sometimes takes more time than the old-fashioned old-fashioned method of removing your helmet the old fashioned way.
American websites of helmet manufacturers, which have emergency release systems, warn that replicas of their models are seen copying only stickers and laces. The system itself is sometimes completely absent from replicas.
So, remember that the main principle after an accident is do no harm. With one hand, hold your head under the helmet, clearly fixing it at the base of the skull, as far as you can stick your hand. With the other hand we crawl under the chin part of the helmet and hold our head by the chin. Your task is to keep your head in one position, to monitor the position of your neck. The second person takes off the helmet and puts something soft under the victim’s head.
IMPORTANT: When removing the helmet, pull gently from the chin to the back of the head. None: side to side or back to chest. Only from the chin to the back of the head.