devon antenatal & first aid - saving a life

We all know that basic First Aid skills are important to know and we should all make the effort to learn them but how many people in the UK can actually perform effective first aid? Not enough is the short answer. Research has shown that 2 out of 3 people couldn’t save a life.

Up to 150,000 people a year could be given a chance to live if more people knew first aid.

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 (source SJA)

Out of 2045 adults nearly two-thirds (59%) wouldn’t feel confident trying 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. Around a third (39%) would try and do first aid even though they are not sure what to do and just over a quarter (28%) say they’d know what first aid to do – but sadly their confidence is misplaced, as the survey results show many would do the wrong thing and may even make the situation worse (source SJA)

Following a life threatening incident and ambulances taking up to 8 minutes to arrive time really is of the essence and first aid can mean the difference between life and death. It is concerning how many people wouldn’t know basic first aid and be able to perform it effectively. Even if you feel you know some first aid theory with the fear and adrenaline of being faced with an emergency would you remember what to do? First aid needs to be second nature so quick action can be taken. This is most likely to be achieved by updating your first aid knowledge every 3 years.

With paramedics and first responders being pushed to the limit and blamed for taking too long to arrive at a scene it is paramount that the general public know what a 999 call is and what can be taken to A&E, seen by a doctor or nurse or dealt with at home.

Last year 31,000 ‘unnecessary’ ambulance call outs were made in Wales alone which diverts resources from the most life-threatening incidents and putting lives at risk.

It’s never too early to learn the basics of first aid. Parents should teach their children how to get help if they hurt themselves or see someone else injured.

Role playing basic first aid skills and calling 999 and teach them your address and what to say. Of course, explain never to do it in real life unless they need to!

Giving children a foundation for first aid is essential for the next generation to ensure that we are offering a safe environment where the statistics of first aid knowledge within the general public is much better than it is today.

If you would like to find out more about the first aid courses that Devon Antenatal offer in Barnstaple, Devon and across the South West please get in touch today on either 07966 320 081 or