‘Do not panic in accidents,’ says medical intern who helped MRT victim

Aika Rey
‘Do not panic in accidents,’ says medical intern who helped MRT victim
Charleanne Jandic points out that first aid can spell the difference for victims in emergency situations

MANILA, Philippines – When faced by an emergency, do not panic.

Chinese General Hospital medical intern Charleanne Jandic, 27, said she was nervous at first when she heard that a woman got into an accident at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3). But her instinct from her medical training took over.

“I was alarmed. I didn’t see what happened but I was assuming the worst. With a fast-moving vehicle like that, you would take into consideration the possibility that the victim is already dead. But I heard somebody shout from the stairs asking for help for the woman,” Jandic said in a mix of English and Filipino on Wednesday, November 22.

The medical intern was about to exit the MRT3 Ayala Station then, but she went back.

“To some extent, medyo kinabahan din ako. ‘Siguro enough lang naman ‘yung alam ko.’ (I was quite nervous. I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I know enough what to do.’) So I went back to see what could be done. I found her in better condition than I expected,” she added.

On November 14, 24-year-old Angeline Fernando was caught in between train cars after she felt lightheaded. She fell onto the railway tracks after. Her right arm got severed, but doctors were able to reattach it after hours-long surgery.

Fernando’s arm wouldn’t have been saved if Jandic did not perform first aid on the victim.

“It could have been [fatal]. But fortunately, the arm wasn’t too damaged. In medical perspective, it was a clean cut,” said Jandic.

“When somebody gets dismembered, your goal is to stop the bleeding. You want to avoid loss of blood,” she added.

Jandic emphasized the importance of not panicking in such situations.

“‘Wag mag-panic. More often than not, panicking causes more harm than good. Actually, kinabahan ako. Nagpanic ako. Pero kasi mas inisip ko ‘yung alam ko rin naman kahit papaano ‘yung gagawin,” she said.

(Don’t panic. More often than not, panicking causes more harm than good. Actually, I felt nervous. I panicked. But I thought more about the fact that I know enough about what to do.)

Emergency services

Kabayan Representative Ron Salo, who previously filed House Bill 4955 seeking to create a national emergency medical services system, said he would move to rename the proposed law’s short title after Jandic.

Salo said it would be renamed to the Dr Charlie Jandic Emergency Medical Services System (EMSS) Act of 2017 once the House committee on health tackles the measure.

Jandic said she was humbled by the gesture but “it puts pressure” since she has yet to take the licensure exam.

She acknowledged that there are other medical practitioners who save lives out of the limelight. “It’s okay even if they don’t name it after me. I don’t have any self-serving motivation,” said Jandic.

She also emphasized the importance of learning basic first aid to be able to respond to emergencies.

“You don’t need to have a medical or health sciences background. It can be tricky since it’s a case to case basis. But if you think you can do more good than harm, I don’t think there’s anything wrong,” Jandic said.

“While you’re waiting for the emergency personnel, you can do something. It can spell a difference [in] the outcome,” she added.

Should the bill become a law, all local government units (LGUs) will be required to create a dispatch center that residents can call in case of emergency. The dispatch protocols would be crafted by the health department and the EMSS council.

The bill would also create a single national emergency number, similar to 911 in the United States. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.