Supporting First Aid Awareness Week, 11-15 April
To mark First Aid Awareness Week St John
Ambulance, along with other leading first aid societies, is
promoting the value of learning first
To coincide with the awareness campaign, the new edition of the
first aid manual has been launched. Written by the first aid
societies and published by DK, it features updated
guidance on how to resuscitate someone,
following recent changes in guidance from the Resuscitation Council
UK. The public is being urged to buy the manual so they can have
life saving information close at hand.
A survey conducted by DK for First Aid Awareness Week found
there was a severe lack of knowledge and confidence about
performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Only one in
ten people were willing to do it if they found a child on
the street lying unresponsive and not breathing.
In October 2010, the Resuscitation Council UK issued guidance
that advised untrained bystanders they could perform
chest compressions only on cardiac arrest
Fifty-six percent of those surveyed stated they would be
more willing to perform CPR if they didn't have to
give mouth-to-mouth and could perform chest compressions only.
The updated manual now advises those that haven't been first aid
trained, or are unwilling to perform mouth-to-mouth, that they are
now only required to perform chest compressions to resuscitate a
casualty who is unresponsive and not breathing.
The manual still advises those that are first aid trained to
perform both chest compressions and two rescue breaths, as
this gives the casualty the best possible chance of
The survey results also indicated there is a worrying
lack of knowledge concerning the use of an AED
(Automatic External Defibrillator) , a device that can shock a
heart back into a positive rhythm, following cardiac arrest.
Over half of the respondents believe a
defibrillator should be used when someone is having a heart attack,
while fewer knew that it should in fact be used on
someone who is unresponsive and not breathing. No
longer do you have to be trained to use one; untrained members of
the public are now allowed to use a defibrillator and the manual
clearly advises on this.
A demonstration of how to use an AED can be found at the BBC
Saving a life
As this year's First Aid Awareness Week is concentrating mainly
on CPR and the new guidance, we want people to understand that
anyone, first aid trained or untrained, can help
someone in an emergency and that doing something is better than not
doing anything at all.
Clive James, Training Development Manager said:
'These findings reveal a nationwide lack of knowledge and
confidence towards CPR which we aim to address during First Aid
Awareness Week. The survey has highlighted a need to raise
awareness of important guideline changes such as
the fact that anyone can now use a defibrillator. We want to
encourage all members of the public to try CPR in an emergency
situation, as "having a go" is better than doing
nothing and could help save a life.'