Recent statistics show that half a million Australians are admitted to hospitals every year, with around 12,000 people dying from an injury, primarily from falls.
Australian Red Cross says that Australia has the lowest rates of first aid training in the world, with less than five per cent of people in Australia knows to perform first aid in emergency situations.
A study in the United Kingdom revealed that nearly six out of every 10 deaths could be prevented if the public knew even the most basic first aid.
Joe Mulligan from the British Red Cross, which commissioned the research, said “The good news is that most people (93%) are calling 999. But after calling 999, we want the bystanders to then do something in those crucial minutes before the ambulance arrives. Every person needs to recognise that in an emergency, you are part of the ‘chain of survival’.”
Thousands of lives are lost because most people lack the confidence to step in and perform first aid. First Aid intervention increases the patient’s chance of survival and can stabilize a patient until emergency medical services arrive.
The Royal College of Medicine has called for First Aid Training to be made compulsory as part of the school curriculum, driving tests and public health initiatives. Making first aid mandatory will give many more people the chance to learn life-saving skills and could potentially save a life.
“Opening the airway by turning the unconscious person on their side and reducing blood loss by pushing hard on the site of the bleeding can buy precious minutes until help arrives.”
“These two simple actions are the very same that a trained doctor or paramedic would perform. Minutes really count – so these actions save lives.”
Although many Australians undertake training as part of a workplace requirement, first aid is an invaluable skill to have in everyday living. The greater number of people who know first aid, the more people can move beyond that fear of taking action.
To have the knowledge and confidence to deliver first aid can save lives when an emergency arises.