Car accidents can be incredibly distressing for children, no matter what the outcome. One such accident took place on Saturday night just after 10:30 p.m. when a young mother was on her way home with her four children on Highway 40 near the Neve Yerek interchange.
The family had been returning from an excursion when they were suddenly hit by a car that had come from the adjacent side of the intersection. A third vehicle also collided with the other two causing injuries to a total of 9 people, including the mother and her four children. Eyewitnesses called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Eli Sakira was at his home in the nearby town of Elishama when he received the alert regarding the emergency. He quickly dropped what he was doing and ran out to his car and drove as quickly as possible to the scene of the accident. He was the second responder at the scene. Together with the other EMT who was there, Eli assessed the injured doing a quick field triage to see who was most in need of medical care.
“There were three cars each with people in them in need of medical care,” Eli said. “In total, we had five adults and four children to care for. While most of the injuries were minor some needed immediate care. I went to the person who was most in need of medical care, which was one of the children, a girl who had sustained a head injury and who was hemorrhaging from her nose. She was in extreme emotional distress and was very hesitant about anyone approaching her, which is fairly typical for young children.”
Eli quickly calmed and reassured the young girl and then stopped the bleeding by applying bandages and pressure. Once the blood subsided all of the children, as well as the mother visibly relaxed.
Other first responders began to arrive including United Hatzalah ambucycle EMT Roie Baharuzi, and EMT Elad Mimran. As Eli was working with the rest of the children, having already gained their trust, the other EMS personnel focused on the injured from the other vehicles. A few minutes later, all nine of the injured people were bandaged and stabilized and brought to ambulances that had arrived to transport the injured from the scene.
“One always needs an extra level of composure and caring when treating children during a medical emergency, especially after one as traumatic as a car accident which they were themselves involved in. As first responders we need to first earn the child’s trust and only then can we treat them and each child and each scenario is different. In this instance, I was dealing with a number of children who were related. Once I got the trust of one, and the parent, the others more quickly trusted me as well and I was able to treat them faster. I’m glad I was able to arrive as quickly as I did and mitigate the pain and distress that this family and the others injured at the scene were feeling.”
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