My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Half of people wouldn’t feel confident in a first aid emergency

Alarming new research released by the British Red Cross shows that there is just a 50:50 chance that someone would be confident enough to help you in a first aid emergency.

Research conducted for World First Aid Day, with a sample of 2,004 UK adults, found there was a worrying lack in confidence amongst the British public when it comes to stepping in to help in a first aid emergency:

  • Whilst most of us (88%) would want someone to come to our aid, only half (50%) of UK adults would actually feel confident about helping.
  • The majority of those asked (70%) said that they would worry about making it worse or doing something wrong.
  • Most worryingly, just 4% of people knew the correct first aid skills, and said they were both confident and likely to help someone in three of the most life threatening scenarios*.

Ahead of World First Aid Day on Saturday 8 September the British Red Cross is empowering the nation to learn five simple skills that could save a life. These include how to help someone who is: choking, bleeding heavily, unresponsive and breathing, unresponsive and not breathing and having a seizure.

During a life-threatening emergency it is the actions of the first person on the scene that can mean the difference between life and death. Doing something is always better than nothing.

When Joanna Mitchell’s husband suffered the first of two cardiac arrests on New Year’s Day, he became unresponsive and stopped breathing and it was her quick-thinking and first aid knowledge that saved his life.

Joanna, 52, who has been with her husband Graham for almost 20 years, gave him chest compressions for 11 minutes before the ambulance crew arrived. Her actions kept his blood flowing to his vital organs keeping him alive until help arrived.

Graham, 52, had been complaining that he didn’t feel well just moments before he collapsed on the floor.

Joanna, from Herne Bay in Kent, said that everyone should know these vital skills, which could end up saving their loved ones or someone else’s.

Joanna said:

“My first thought was to run but then something kicked in because I had learned first aid and I knew what I had to do. I asked my daughter to call an ambulance and sent her outside to wait for it. She left the phone on speaker and the call handler supported me all the way, even when I thought there was no point continuing.

“It was the most terrifying 11 minutes of my life, but if I needed to I would do it again. And not just for my husband, for anyone who needed it. Without this knowledge I would be a widow and my children would have lost their dad. I’ve made sure that all of my daughters know first aid skills.”

Joe Mulligan Head of First Aid at the British Red Cross said:

“We would all want someone to come to our aid if we were injured or ill, but the fact that so few people feel they have the knowledge and confidence to step in and help in the most serious first aid scenarios is concerning.

“The actions of the first person on the scene of a life-threatening emergency are vital. In the same way that everyone knows to call 999, it’s so important that people have the skills to act before the ambulance arrives.

“It’s normal to feel worried about the prospect of an emergency like this, but doing something is always better than doing nothing. Taking five minutes to learn these five simple skills will give you the confidence to act calmly, and could save someone’s life.”

For World First Aid Day the British Red Cross is calling on the nation to be ready. Show your kindness, give us five minutes of your time and we’ll give you five simple skills that could save a life. Find out more at redcross.org.uk/firstaid.