Patrick Grady MP attended the launch of new research commissioned by the British Red Cross which reveals that many lives could be saved if the public knew first aid. The research, conducted by the University of Manchester, shows that up to 59% of 'pre-hospital' deaths from injury could potentially be prevented if more people stepped in with some simple first aid.
While 93% of people will call for an ambulance if they find someone with an injury, first aid intervention of any kind is was infrequent. Around half did not attempt any first aid while waiting for the emergency medical services to arrive. Patrick Grady MP learnt two simple first aid skills and pledged support for others to also have the opportunity to gain the confidence and learn the skills that could save a life.
The research, which has studied data from coroners' offices, was last carried out 22 years ago by Prof Anthony Redmond, who also led the new research which was conducted by Dr Govind Oliver from the University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.
Patrick Grady MP commented:
"It's good to know that the vast majority of people will phone 999 if they find someone injured but we can't stop there. Using a few basic first aid skills the public can make simple but vital interventions that could help keep people alive until an ambulance arrives. This research shows that the majority of deaths from injury could be prevented if the public knew first aid."
Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education said:
"The good news is that most people are calling 999. But after calling 999 we want people 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."
The British Red Cross is calling for everyone in the UK to learn two basic first aid skills that could help to prevent the number of people who die from injuries, such as those resulting from falls or road traffic accidents, before reaching hospital.
"Sadly in the majority of deaths we looked at, the simplest interventions could have helped keep someone alive until they got to hospital. For example something as simple as turning someone on their side and tilting their head back to keep their airway open – could be all it takes to make that difference between life and death in certain situations".
Find the report and more about the British Red Cross campaign online at: redcross.org.uk/dontstopat999