It’s a nightmare situation. You’re having lunch at work and something goes down the wrong hole. After a few seconds you realise you’re choking. You’ve got about 4 minutes to clear your airway until oxygen starvation starts to cause irreversible brain damage. You look around at your colleagues. Your only hope is that one of them is the 1 in 20 people who feel knowledgeable and confident enough to act in a first aid emergency. Those aren’t great odds.

Our recent research into first aid revealed that 62% of people were worried they might make things worse if they attempted to intervene in a medical emergency.

Over the past 12 months, reported 144 deaths in the workplace due to injury 2 . Research commissioned by the British Red Cross and conducted by the University of Manchester shows that up to 59% of pre-hospital deaths from injury could be prevented if more people had a basic knowledge of first aid 3. That’s around 85 lives saved a year.

According to our survey:

  • 35% of people didn’t know to put pressure on a bleeding wound.
  • 35% of people would know to start CPR and chest compressions if somebody stopped breathing.
  • 36% wouldn’t step in at all if someone was choking.

Joe Mulligan, Head of First Aid Education at the British Red Cross says:

“When an emergency strikes, giving first aid could save someone’s life. We all hope that someone would be able to help us in an emergency, but our research shows that few people feel they have the skills and confidence to act in some serious situations”. 1

So, if you want to feel safe and confident in the knowledge that you and those around you could step in should an emergency arise, getting a basic knowledge of first aid is a great place to start.

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