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Thread: First aid - helmet removal

  1. #1
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    First aid - helmet removal

    A local rider went down this weekend at speed. Gear saved him but the following was posted on another board. Good information to know:

    If breathing is taking place normally, leave the helmet on!
    It is very dangerous to remove someone's helmet if they have some type of cervical/back injury. The only time it should be removed is if the airway is blocked and cannot be cleared with the helmet on or if it is necessary to perform CPR.

    If the airway is blocked or there's no respiratory action, then you should remove the helmet. The method recommended by the American College of Orthopedic Surgeons requires two people.


    Open visor, remove glasses and unbuckle the chin strap. One person should be to the side of the head of the victim and the other person should be directly behind the head of the victim, stabilizing the head to avoid excess movement.


    The person on the side puts one hand under the victim's head supporting at the base of the skull. They put their other hand on the jaw bone/chin . They will be supporting the head, so it is important to get a good solid grip. Keep some tension in the arms so that if the person pulling the helmet slips the victim's head won't drop.


    The person sitting behind the head will then slowly pull the helmet directly back and off of the head. Watch out for catching the nose on the chin-guard on full-face helmets, as well as ears and earrings. It's normal to rotate the helmet forward as you pull it off, but not this time. Pull straight back so that the head and neck are not rotated.


    After the helmet is off, put a leather jacket or something under the head of the victim! If the person supporting their head lets go, their head will drop a good 4 inches or so. This would not be good. If possible, it would be best to have a third person ready with something to place under the victim's head once the helmet is off.


    After the helmet is off, the person behind the head should again hold the victim's head to promote cervical immobilization.


    A couple of good articles:

    http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Accidents.html

    and

    http://www.mrf.org/pdf/WhitePapers/V...metRemoval.pdf
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    Contributor 8000 Posts! Ash's Avatar
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    I learned at the horse barns no one ever removes a helmet. (Of course, those are very tiny / no visor compared to MC helmets.) It's good to read what to do IF you have to. Wondering if I should buy those stickers for the helmet for any good samaritins that don't know to leave my hat on if I go down. Anyone have a safety sticker on their lid?

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline
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    I've got one of these stuck on my helmet:


    http://www.whitehorsepress.com/produ...products_id=98

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    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! MadMaxmlin's Avatar
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    Good info

    I had a class in motorcycle first aid at one point and we practiced the helmet removal technique.

    2 things I learned from it:

    1) It takes 2 people to do safely
    2) If you don't have to, don't remove the helmet!
    3) Repeat 1) and 2)

    I got one of those "Do not remove helmet" stickers at MSF class and stuck it on the front of my brain bucket.

    The personal medical info tag is a good idea. Never saw those with the info inside the pocket before. That's more privacy-secure than having a label on the helmet that tells everyone what your address, phone #, and social security # is!

  5. #5
    Contributor 8000 Posts! Ash's Avatar
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    Is that pouch waterproof?
    Is it a one time deal - once opened you need to get another?
    I never thought of the aspect of all info being exposed on the sticker - Hummm....

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline
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    I'd say it's waterproof enough. If you were to crash into a lake, things might get wet.

    The "paper" is pretty tough. It won't dissolve in water. They recommend writing in pencil. I pulled mine out to change my address and, other than needing tweezers to get it out, it went back together fine. I imagine an EMT could get the paper out with no problem.

    If you were to pull it off your helmet, I don't think it would re-attach very well. It sticks on pretty good. I'd say it's good for at least the life of your helmet.

  7. #7
    You can get a product similar to that at Cycle Gadgets for free. It doesn't say to not remove the helmet, but it has the pocket to insert your medical and contact info. I have one. I think the paper is waterproof.

    http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products....asp?Item=MICS
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by VanDawg38
    I've got one of these stuck on my helmet:


    http://www.whitehorsepress.com/produ...products_id=98
    Do you have a source to get those stickers? I got one long years ago at the MSF course but that helmet is long gone and the sticker wasn't transferable.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Zixxer10
    Do you have a source to get those stickers? I got one long years ago at the MSF course but that helmet is long gone and the sticker wasn't transferable.
    Sorry, didn't see the web site 'til it was too late.
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  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts!
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    MC helmet removal is fraught with danger. I agree that if the rider is still breathing then leave the helmet on. I'm not even sure if there's enough room to get an O2 mask between your mouth and the FF chin area, so I'll try it next time I have my helmet on and am near an oxygen mask. If an O2 mask did fit in this space it'd be hard to monitor for sufficient oxygen transfer. I think that this helmet removal procedure requires 2 people that have practiced this before they get to the real deal, or a simple "Oops" might be life changing.

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