Accident Scenes: Do You Always Offer Assistance?

  1. 0
    Ok, so I have read what many have felt their obligation would be on the scene of an accident, but what would you do if you caused the accident, hitting a pedestrian, country road, EMS 10 minutes or more away, obvious head injury, face down on roadway. You're an RN in fact studying for MSN, do you have an obligation to render assistance or at least do an evaluation based on your medical knowledge?
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  3. 82 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Is this an ethical homewrok question/project?
    ashleyisawesome and Altra like this.
  5. 0
    Yes, obligated
  6. 2
    Quote from JD'sMom
    Ok, so I have read what many have felt their obligation would be on the scene of an accident, but what would you do if you caused the accident, hitting a pedestrian, country road, EMS 10 minutes or more away, obvious head injury, face down on roadway. You're an RN in fact studying for MSN, do you have an obligation to render assistance or at least do an evaluation based on your medical knowledge?
    That specific a scenario sounds an awful lot like a homework question. What are your thoughts about it??
    acerbia and ashleyisawesome like this.
  7. 5
    what would you do if you were not a nurse?
  8. 2
    Well, there is not much you can do at this point except whip out your phone and call for an ambulance.
    Without equipment there really isn't much you are able to do that makes a difference.
    I didn't hit anyone, but I was in a similar situation. I stayed with the injured man until the paramedics arrived, then I stepped out of the way to let them do their job.
    NurseOnAMotorcycle and CountyRat like this.
  9. 1
    What *could* you do, beyond applying pressure to a hemorrhage or something? Doing a neuro check or LOC assessment seems pointless with EMS minutes away.
    anotherone likes this.
  10. 16
    If you caused the accident?? You always stop if there's an accident you are involved it, otherwise it's called "hit and run" and you go to jail or whatever.
    uRNmyway, Prac, Pistachio, and 13 others like this.
  11. 0
    In our law of torts, you do not have a legal obligation to help an injured person, absent a relationship to the person in some way (I.e you hit the person). In your case, you must stay at the scene. However, that should be the extent of your help, beyond administering CPR or helping to remove the person from the bottom of a running car.
  12. 2
    Well, hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers, so my response will not be appropriate in every real-world situation.

    However, in situations that I have been in (not hitting the person, thank God, but being present) I have provided what aid I could; ensuring a patent airway, controlling severe bleeding, protecting the victim from cold wind and rain, etc. I agree with those who opine that the most important thing that I could do is to call 911 and protect the victim from further harm. I note the victim’s general neurological condition so that I can report it to the EMS personnel, give the EMS team members a 5-10 second report, and then get out of their way.

    So, yes, I believe that I have an ethical duty to offer aid in most situations, acknowledging that different responses may be more appropriate in different situations.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Oct 12, '12
    uRNmyway and CrufflerJJ like this.


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