Right to Emergency Care
Supreme Court Judgement
Date of Judgment: 23/02/2007.
Case No.: Appeal (civil) 919 of 2007
The Supreme Court has ruled that all injured persons especially in the case of road traffic accidents, assaults, etc., when brought to a hospital / medical centre, have to be offered first aid, stabilized and shifted to a higher centre / government centre if required. It is only after this that the hospital can demand payment or complete police formalities. In case you are a bystander and wish to help someone in an accident, please go ahead and do so. Your responsibility ends as soon as you leave the person at the hospital.
The hospital bears the responsibility of informing the police, giving first aid etc.,
Please do inform your family and friends about these basic rights so that we all know what to expect and what to do in the hour of need. Please not only go ahead and forward, use it too!!!!
The Background
In a Public interest petition filed in Supreme Court of India in 1988 the Supreme Court of India had declared that “ Every Doctor whether at Government Hospital or otherwise has the professional obligation to extend his services with due expertise for protecting life. The obligation is total, absolute and paramount”.
In spite of the fact that the Supreme Court had ordered that this order should be given wide publicity, neither the publicity had been adequate nor the knowledge of this order. Due to this there are still many instances of refusal by private hospitals to treat accident victims.
Further, it is a common sight that when accident occurs there will be many to crowd around and express their views on who was responsible for the accident but hardly anyone would help to rush the accident victim to the nearest hospital.
Good Samaritan Award
In order to encourage people to do so, the Association has instituted an Award called “Ravindran Memorial Good Samaritan Award” and gives it annually to a person who had so helped the accident victim. This award was initiated by the then President of AASI and former Director General of Police Late Mr.K. Ravindran, IPS. Originally called as ‘Good Samaritan Award’, after his death was named as ‘Ravindran Memorial Good Samaritan Award’.
This award instituted in 1997 has so far been given to a bank union official, a Businessman, an Auto Driver, a young school boy, a Tailor, a Driver of the Police Department, a Public Sector employee and an unemployed youth.
If you come to know of any such noble act please inform us with details so that such a person can be considered for the award which is normally given during the first week of January during the Road Safety week.
We also encourage each one of you to be a Good Samaritan.
First Aid Tips in case of Road Accidents
In case of breathing failure or trouble
CALL for Ambulance
Start Artificial breathing Immediately.
The Kiss of Life (Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation) Method:
1. The Victim should be made to lye on his or her back.
2. Loosen the clothing round the Victim’s Neck, Chest and Waist
3. Clean Victim’s mouth to remove any food particle or saliva by hand kerchief.
4. Place one of your hands under the neck and other on the forehead tilting victim’s head slightly backward.
5. To clear the airway using the hand under the neck lift the chin upwards.
6. If breathing does not start, pinch the victim’s nostrils together, take in a breath and covering victim’s mouth fully with your mouth breath into his lungs.
7. When his / her chest rises, turn your hand away and repeat the procedure three times.
In case where the above kiss of Life method cannot be used, artificial respiration can be tried.
1. Keep accident victim’s face downwards with arms bent making the head rest on his hands with head turned to one side.
2. Kneel on one knee near the victim’s head with the foot of your opposite leg placed near the victim’s elbow.
3. Place your hands on Victim’s back just below the shoulder blades.
4. Rock forward with your arms held straight at the elbows until your arms are vertical and press down to compress the chest.
5. Rock backwards lifting victim’s elbows.
6. Repeat it every five seconds or 12 times a minute.
If there is any glass or other material in the affected portion, put pressure along the edge of the bleeding wound and put some dressing along the edge and tie it with a tight bandage. Don’t try to remove any foreign body since it can create more bleeding. If the injury is in hand or leg and if the bleeding is profuse make the victim lie down and raise the arm or leg above the level of the heart. But care should be taken not to dislocate if any injury to the bone has occurred. In case of suspected fracture put a splint and tie so that the movement will be restored. While lifting such a patient care must be taken.
Bleeding Nose
1. Make the Victim, Sit down and tilt the head slight by forward.
2. Let the blood drip
3. Pinch the soft part of the nose
4. Ensure that the victim does not swallow blood.
Head Injury
1. Carefully the head should be supported and victim should be kept in recovery position (turned on his side) and clear airway.
2. Keep a loose dressing or hand kerchief under the ear.
3. Control bleeding by bandage or tieing with kerchief.