How to recover from a motorbike accident

photo credit : Mykhailo Radzievskyi

Many motorbike newbs in Bali encounter "road rash" in the first days and weeks of driving. The reason for this is the novelty of the bike, the "intuitive" local driving, and left-handed traffic.

What to do if you have an accident? How do you heal?

The main thing - do not panic!

How to provide first aid in case of injury on a bike?

What to do immediately after you have an accident and you have a wound? These first steps will help you to clean up the wound and protect it from infection. By doing this you will heal faster.

1.The first step is to clean the wound properly. If there is dirt or something else in it, remove it. First, wash the dirt around the wound with clean drinking water, stepping back from the edge of the wound 3-5 centimeters so that dirty water does not get inside. If there is no drinking water, tap water can be used, but most importantly not sea or river water. The speed of healing depends on how well the open wound was first cleaned.

        2. If there is no dirt in the wound or you have already removed it, fill the wound with antiseptic - hydrogen peroxide (Hidrogen peroksida, Perhidrol), Chlorhexidine (Minosil, Minosep), Betadin or Rivanol, trying to maximize the washing of the wound.

        hydrogen peroxide (Hidrogen peroksida, Perhidrol)

        Chlorhexidine (Minosil, Minosep); miramistine is not sold in Indonesia, but you can use its analogue - chlorhexidine, which is stronger than miramistine, that is, it must be diluted.



        3. Treat the area around the skin with an alcohol solution and then treat the skin with an inhaled non-alcoholic antiseptic (hydrogen peroxide, Miramistin, Chlorhexidine, Betadine or Rivanol).

        alcohol solution (Alcohol Anti Infeksi)

        4. Put antibiotic powder in the wound. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and increase the time before you see a doctor. If you have Baneocin (Nebacetin, Enbatic Powder), just fill it with powder.


        Baneocin (Enbatic Powder)

        There's another antibiotic, spill the pill and put it in the wound. Chloramphenicol (Chloramphenicol, Kalmicetine, Fenicol, Likoklor, Thiamycin) can be used as an antibiotic.


        Chloramphenicol (Kalmicetine)

        If you have ointments with an antiseptic effect, spread them. You can use Levomekol, Gentamicin (Garamycin, Kalmicetine), Neomycin (Cinolon-n), Sintomycin (Kalmicetine, Ikamicetin).

        Gentamicin (Garamycin)

        Syntomycin (Kalmicetine)

        5. Put a cotton and gauze bandage on top. As sterile as possible. Do not put cotton wool in the wound, because it can leave fibers in the wound and it will be harder to remove it if it dries.

        6. If there's a suspicion of a fractured limb, put a splint of any improvised means on it. This can prevent the splinters from likely shifting and ensure peace of mind. It is important that the tire retains two adjacent joints and is outside the wound area.

        7. If there is severe pulsating bleeding, apply a tourniquet of any improvised material - tissue, rope, scarf. Write down the exact time of tourniquet application, because in hot climate the tourniquet should not be kept on the wound for longer than 1 hour. After that, it will need to be loosened and after a while tightened again.

        8. If the bleeding is weak and large vessels are not damaged, apply a tight bandage.

        This is the end of first aid. From there you can decide whether to go to the doctor or treat yourself.

        What should I carry in the first aid kit?Remember that if you ride a bike, it would be a good idea to have a small first aid kit in the trunk, which will help you in a critical situation. Collect one item from each item in the first aid kit:

        1. Bandages

        2. Non-alcoholic antiseptic - something from the list: hydrogen peroxide (Hidrogen peroksida/Perhidrol), Miramistin, Chlorhexidine (Minosil, Minosep), Betadin or Rivanol.

        3. Alcoholic antiseptic

        4. Antibiotic powder - Baneocin (Nebacetin, Enbatic Powder) or Chloramphenicol (Chloramphenicol, Kalmicetine, Fenicol, Likoklor, Thiamycin) tablets.

        5. Antiseptic ointment - Levomekol, Gentamicin (Garamycin), Neomycin (Cinolon-n), Sintomycin (Kalmicetine, Ikamicetin).

        6. Pain pills

        Always carry at least a small bottle of drinking water with you.

        Always bring the first aid kit with you. After all, even if you are a good driver and nothing happens to you, you can always provide first aid, if you see how someone else was injured.

        What to do after first aid?

        Next, you need to see a doctor if the wound is deep or you can treat it yourself, if the wound is superficial and without complications.

        Surface wounds

        Surface wounds only affect the skin, are small in size and depth. The wounds have smooth edges and minimal bleeding. They can be treated on their own, unless you have any complications.

        Complications include increased pain, swelling, redness, fever, pulsations in the wound area and increased lymph nodes. If there are any complications - you should see a doctor who will probably prescribe you antibiotics, anti-inflammatory pills and more serious treatment.

        Deep wounds

        Deep wounds must always be treated under medical supervision.

        Deep wounds are wounds with damage to muscles, large blood vessels, large foreign bodies, extensive bleeding or associated fractures.

        If you have insurance, call your insurance company and ask them to refer you to a hospital for insurance.

        If you do not have insurance, go to the hospital depending on how urgently you need help and what hospitals are nearby. 

        What should I look for when I see a doctor with a deep wound?

        1. An anti-tetanus prophylaxis should be carried out if you have come into contact with rust, nails, barbed wire, earth when you have a contaminated wound.

        2. 2. In case of fracture, an x-ray should be taken after the bone comparison to check that the comparison was correct.

        3. You should be prescribed antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory medication

        Your doctor will give you advice on how to treat your wound according to its characteristics, how you feel and the medicines available in Bali. Follow these recommendations as clearly as possible.

        How do you treat an infected  wound?

        After the initial treatment of the wound that has already been described above, bandage the wound until it has been cleaned, lengthened and the number of bandages can be reduced first and then stopped altogether.

        If there is suppuration and infection, you need to make sure that the wound is clean. Do not dry the festering wound. There will be pus underneath the crust, provoking an infection that can spread to a wider area of the body. Do not try to heal an inflamed wound with infection. First get the wound cleaned and the infection fixed.

        Get bandages every 4-5 hours.

        During the dressing process:

        1. Before dressing, wash hands thoroughly with soap (preferably antiseptic like Dettol soap), wipe them with a clean towel and treat with any disinfectant solution.

        2. Wash the wound with an antiseptic that is not alcoholic. Hydrogen peroxide, Miramistine, diluted Chlorhexidine, Rivanol will do.

        3. Remove the pus and dead particles from the wound to make it clean. You can do this either by washing it or by tweezers with sterilized alcohol solution.

        4. Use any ointments with chloramphenicol (Kalmicetine, Ikamicetine, Chloramfenicort) on the wound.
        Typically, in case of festering wound the patient is prescribed a course of antibiotics. Ask your doctor to recommend an antibiotic that suits you and determine the length of the course according to the severity of your wound.

        How do I treat a clean surface wound?

        If your wound has been cleaned and there is no more pus in it, it can be treated in two ways - dry and wet. There's no definitive opinion on which way is better.

        Official medics are more likely to recommend drying the wound to form a crust. Your wound will be covered with crust and this will prevent infection from spreading, while a wet wound will need to be covered.

        However, there are proponents of the wet method of treatment who claim that if you do not let the wound dry out and use wound healing agents, it will heal more quickly and will not leave a large scar.

        Let's consider both methods and let you decide for yourself or under the guidance of a doctor you trust.

        Dry healing of a clean wound

        1. When dressing the wound, wash it with an unpyreated antiseptic - hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Rivanol, Miramistine or Diluted Chlorhexidine.

        2. Sprinkle it with a powder antibiotic - baneocin (Nebacetin, Enbatic Powder) or ground chloramphenicol (Chloramphenicol, Thiamycin, Kalmicetine, Fenicol, Likoklor) in the powder.

        3. As soon as the wound is dried, the number of ligaments may begin to decrease.

        4. If you go outside, bandage the wound to reduce the possibility of infection.

        5. If the bandage adheres to the wound and is dry, soak it first with saline to remove it (Sodium Chloride/ NaCL 0.9%, Cairan Infus Dan Pembersih Luka NACL 0.9%).

        Sodium Chloride/ NaCL 0.9%.

        Why with saline and not water? Because its salinity is the same as that of the blood, and your tissue cells in the wound are not affected by contact with it, so unlike water washing.

        6. Try not to wet the wound. Do not bathe, and if you take a shower without a flexible hose, cover the wound from above with food film to prevent water from entering.

        7. If possible, use air conditioning at home to dry the air.

        8. Dress twice a day, morning and evening. As they heal, you can reduce their frequency and then stop doing them.

        Wet treatment for a clean wound

        Just as with dry ligation treatment, wash the wound with an unpyreated antiseptic - hydrogen peroxide, betadine, rivanol, miramistiin or diluted chlorhexidine.

        2. Apply regenerating agents such as Bioplacenton, Bepanten to the wound.

        Bioplacenton (Bioplacenton)


        Under the cream layer, the granulation tissue will first appear, which will change into a connective tissue and the wound will heal.

        3. Try to keep the wound in as clean a condition as possible. If your home is clean, you should not cover the wound with a bandage. But when you leave home, you should always put a bandage over it. Be sure to put a gauze swab (not a cotton swab) under the bandage.

        4. Try not to wet the wound. Do not swim, and if you take a shower without a flexible hose, cover the wound from above with food film to prevent water.

        5. Dress twice a day, morning and evening. As they heal, you can reduce their frequency and then stop doing them.

        Danger of complications

        If the condition of a superficial wound worsens and there are complications (increased pain, swelling, redness, fever, pulsation in the wound area and increased lymph nodes) - do not delay and immediately see a doctor to choose another treatment for you that is appropriate for your condition.

        How do I avoid stains in the wound area?

        When leaving your home, a freshly healed wound is better protected from the sun. If your new skin is exposed to the sun, it will quickly sunbathe and remain dark for a long time (almost a few years).

        Strengthen the body's immune system.

        Remember that the rate of wound healing will also depend on your body's overall defenses. If it is weakened, you have low immunity or the possibility of diabetes - wound healing will be slow. Drink immune boosting medication and keep a healthy diet.