National First Aid Awareness Week

first aid manual 2009

Imagine you were one of the 250,000 people who are involved in road traffic collisions every year. You are unresponsive and not breathing. There is a very strong chance that no-one around will have the basic skills required to provide emergency first aid - potentially putting many lives at risk - according to new research released today.

A national survey of 1,855 people commissioned by DK and the UK’s leading first aid providers St John Ambulance, St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association and British Red Cross to mark national First Aid Awareness Week (2 – 9 February), shows that:

  • 77% of people either don't know how to administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or they are unsure of how to do it.
  • Fewer than 1 in 4 people are able to say definitively that they are confident about CPR – and only 7% of young people (16-24) would be confident enough to perform CPR.

Other key findings are:

Millions of people lack the knowledge to undertake basic first aid procedures

Most people consider themselves incapable of performing the simplest of techniques or treating minor household injuries. The majority don’t know the correct practice for treating a nose bleed (59%) or someone who has fainted (57%). This is particularly worrying in light of the fact that almost 4,000 people in the UK die in accidents in the home every year*.

1 in 3 people wouldn’t know what to do if their toddler was choking

The survey highlighted some of the most important first aid procedures that everyone should know – and revealed an alarming lack of knowledge of even the most common scenarios. One in three people don’t know how to respond to a toddler who is choking, and one in four would be of no use to a person suffering an asthma attack.

Men are more confident about putting their knowledge and skills to use

30% of men would feel sufficiently confident to resuscitate a casualty, compared to just 20% of women. Watching TV programmes such as Casualty and ER can boost first aid confidence; nearly one in five people (18%) said that they might be confident enough to resuscitate a casualty as they’d seen it performed on television!

More than 2 in 5 people don’t know that there are two emergency phone numbers

The survey also asked if people know that there is another telephone number for emergency services, apart from 999; 43% of people in the UK didn’t know that they can also dial 112.

Majority of UK residents don’t own a first aid manual

Despite the fact that the majority of people (57%) don’t own a first aid manual, seven out of ten people claim that they would feel more confident in treating a number of conditions if they could refer to a first aid manual.

Now in its 9th edition, The First Aid Manual is still the only guide to be written and fully authorised by the UK’s leading first aid providers – St John Ambulance, St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross.

*According to a recent survey by RoSPA, every year in the UK almost 4,000 people die in accidents in the home and 2.7 million turn up at accident and emergency departments seeking treatment.