According to Judith Acosta and Judith Simon Prager, co-authors of the book The Worst is Over, immediately following a serious emergency (car accident, fall, injury), it’s likely the person involved is in shock. The autonomic nervous system -- which reacts for us when something in the outside world threatens us -- has taken over. At that moment, the person is in an altered state of consciousness, and your words to him are just like a hypnotherapist's suggestions.
They recommend the following in order to give the person the best chances of healing well:
· Call 911.
· Center yourself (e.g. take a deep breath, say a prayer, speak a mantra).
· Tell the person that the worst is over. Give him your name, and tell him you're there to help. Ask his name and use it. Tell him the ambulance is on its way.
· Ask him, "Will you do as I say?"
· Be credible, confident, compassionate and concerned.
· Give him therapeutic suggestions. For example, "Because the ambulance is on its way, you can begin to take a nice, easy breath." If there's bleeding, tell him, "You’re bleeding just enough to cleanse the wound; you can send clotting factor to the area now." If there are multiple injuries, or if you can't tell where he might be hurt, "You can now allow all your body functions to start working toward repair and healing."
· Remain calm and positive.