Whilst enjoying a night out with friends, a man fell victim to an assault in a popular area of the city. The victim describes being grabbed by the perpetrator, having a chain from around his neck ripped off and being stuck twice on the side and back of the head respectively by would be attackers positioned behind him.
After falling to the ground as a consequence of being struck on the head by a full bottle, the patient was able to make his way to the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital ER for further medical assistance. On admission, the patient presented with severe bleeding from facial wounds which required suturing, as well as soft tissue injuries of the left eye. The patient has since been discharged and is back at work.
Due to the highly vascular nature of the scalp and face, with blood vessels located near to the surface skin, a wound sustained to the head will bleed profusely, even if it is a minor injury.
Initially the amount of blood seen rushing from a head wound may seem like an alarmingly large blood loss. Often it can be well controlled by providing direct pressure to the area of injury with a cloth directly overlying the injury. By applying pressure over the injured area, the blood flow will often be manageable and should stop within 15 to 20min dependent on the type of underlying injury.
- If not the patient, request and assist them to lie down, try and calm them.
- Remove any visible object from the wound, but do not attempt to clean out the wound entirely.
- Press firmly on the wound with a clean cloth, gauze or the cleanest material available. If there is still an object in the wound that can't be removed, apply pressure around the object, not directly over it.
- Apply steady pressure to the injured area and resist the temptation to "peek" at the wound.
- If the material covering the wound becomes saturated with blood, leave it in place and apply more material over it and continue applying pressure.
- The following could indicate a more severe head injury than initially anticipated and require immediate medical attention:
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling weak or having trouble standing
- A sudden inability to respond to one's surroundings, confusion or restlessness
- A feeling of dizziness, lightheartedness or wanting to pass out
The use of earphones may indicate you are carrying a device of value to a would be thief. In addition, earphones remove you from your immediate environment by providing a constant auditory distraction.
Statistically, people who walk in groups are less likely to be harassed or accosted. As the saying goes, "safety in numbers".
A dark area is an invitation for disaster. Not only does it hide possible obstructions or trip hazards, but it may provide an out of sight location for a potential attacker to hide.
Walk facing the traffic
Walking facing the traffic allows the pedestrian to notice the flow of traffic and creates an awareness for the driver. It also dramatically improves ones's general visibility for both drivers and pedestrians.
When walking with confidence, one is less likely to be considered a soft target.
Consider taking a self defense class
Taking a self defense class can help increase self confidence and help put one's mind at ease.
Don't show your bling
Hide your valuables such as cell phones, laptops and tablets.
By taking the corner wide, one reduces their chances of physically bumping into someone and thus being a victim of opportunistic crime. It may also help one maintain an awareness of their surroundings.
Always make sure someone is made aware of where you are and what time you are expect back. This may allow for an early alert of any trouble.
Staying on your phone can be a great distraction. Don't text and walk as this relies on your vision and attention continuously.