Dramatic numbers dying from lack of first aid
Up to 150,000 people a year could
be given a chance to live if more people knew first aid,
says charity St John Ambulance, as it launches a hard-hitting
campaign to encourage more people to learn this vital skill.
Thousands of people are dying each year in
situations where first aid could have made the difference. This
includes nearly 900 people who choke to death,
2,500 who asphyxiate from a blocked airway and
29,000 who die from heart attacks*.
First aid could make a dramatic difference in these situations,
either through direct intervention, in the case of choking, or by
recognising life-threatening signs, such as a heart attack, and
caring for someone until medical help arrives.
I’m supporting St John Ambulance’s campaign because I want to give others the chance Guy didn't have. I don’t want him to have died in vain.
Mother of Guy, who believes he died from a lack of first aid
The startling figure
is more than four times
the number who die of lung
cancer each year, the most common cause of death from cancer.
Startling lack of first aid knowledge
Research** commissioned by the
charity has also revealed that:
- Nearly two-thirds of people (59%) wouldn’t feel confident
enough to try to save a life
- A quarter (24%) would do nothing and wait for an ambulance to
arrive or hope that a passer-by knows first aid.
The charity is urging everyone to get a free pocket-sized guide
featuring first aid skills that can help in five common
life-threatening situations*** by clicking here or texting LIFE to
85010. The message is supported by a dramatic new
advertising campaign depicting these five situations in
which first aid could have been the difference between a life lost
and a life saved. The public are also encouraged to donate to the
charity to help others become ‘the difference’.
Be the difference
Sue Killen, CEO, St John Ambulance comments: ‘Around 2,500
people die each year from a blocked airway, but if someone had
known the recovery position, lives could have been
saved. We’re urging everyone to text to claim a free first
aid guide today.’
A life lost – Guy Evans
The campaign is backed by Beth Chesney-Evans, who believes her
son might be alive today if he had been given basic first aid. Guy
Evans died in August 2008, when he was 17, after his motorcycle
crashed near his home in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Beth Chesney-Evans comments: ‘Guy didn’t die because of a
terrible head injury or massive internal bleeding. He had no
injuries at all but died because his heart apparently stopped and
he couldn’t breathe – and those are conditions that first aid is
designed to deal with until the ambulance arrives. I’ll
never know whether Guy could have survived; but because he didn't
get any first aid, he didn’t have a chance.’
Beth continues: ‘I’m supporting St John Ambulance’s campaign
because I want to give others the chance Guy didn't have. I
don’t want him to have died in vain.’
St John Ambulance is committed to ensuring everyone has the
basic first aid knowledge that could save someone's life. To get
your free pocket-sized guide, just text LIFE**** to 85010 or click
here. You can also get advice on your iPhone with the St John
Ambulance first aid app, available through iTunes.
* Using death registration data from the Office of National
**Research conducted by ICM, February 2010, using a weighted
sample of 2045 adults aged 18+. ICM is a member of the British
Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at
***The five common scenarios tackled in the adverts and in the
free first aid guide are: Choking, heart attack, severe bleeding,
an unconscious person who is breathing and one who is not
**** Texts to this number are charged at standard network