Road traffic accidents and associated injuries are a major public health problem in developing countries. Timely rescue, first-aid and trauma care and subsequent transportation of road accident victims (RAVs) to health facility help reduce the accident and injury outcomes. Available evidence suggests that RAVs stand a greater chance of survival if attended to and cared for timely.
This exploratory qualitative study set out to explore the experiences of residents of the communities along the Kasoa-Mankessim highway in Ghana (an accident-prone highway) in administering pre-hospital care to RAVs. It also explores the nature of assistance (trauma services) given. Data for the study came from a purposive sample of 80 respondents from 15 communities along the road network through structured interview schedules. We found that the majority of the respondents had little knowledge and/or professional training in first-aid and emergency trauma care to road accident victims. The skills and knowledge exhibited were acquired through years of first-aid and rescue services to road accident victims. The ‘scoop and run’ method of first-aid care was widely used. The study recommended that the relevant agencies such as the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Red Cross Society, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Fire Service and the National Ambulance Service should train and equip residents along accident-prone highways to rescue and administer first-aid and pre-hospital care to RAVs. Furthermore, the emergency contact numbers of these agencies should be made available to the stakeholders in the communities so they can call for assistance in the event of emergencies.
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