Why First Aid shouldn’t be just a tick in the box

Many people view First Aid as merely a tick in the box – however it is a universal life skill applicable to home, work and the street.

The importance of emergency First Aid
Whilst attending the Trauma Care Conference last year, expert speakers who were requested to give evidence to the Manchester Bombing enquiry, gave some keynote speeches. It became clear that, in a major event, it was probable a wait of up to an hour may be expected before the scene could be made safe, and then ambulance personnel allowed to enter. It was also pointed out that, with increasing pressures on the NHS and ambulance response times, boosting community resilience and the need for Emergency First Aid knowledge was never greater.

An unconscious patient lying on their back with a blocked airway or an uncontrolled bleed could result in catastrophic consequences if left unchecked. Doing the basics, but doing them well, is the key thing. Practical skills constantly repeated, backed up with the “why” of what we do, hopefully will ensure competency and the ability to adapt to a variety of situations.

First Aid in action
I would like to share two stories highlighting this. The first is of an elderly couple who faced the worst situation a parent could imagine – being told their daughter had effectively died for a short time.

Whilst at university, their 20 year old daughter suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in the street. It was thanks to a passing police officer who initiated early and effective CPR and the subsequent early defibrillation that saved her life. This couple attended one of our courses to ensure that if the situation ever arose, they were able to return the gift they had been given. Their daughter has made a full recovery.

The second story concerns an acupuncture colleague of mine who was able to recognise her husband having a stroke and, being able to communicate signs and symptoms effectively to the emergency services, ensured a quick response time. They confirmed her diagnosis and transferred him directly to a stroke unit where he made a good recovery.

So, when deciding whether to undertake a first aid course, to expend the time, effort or expense (although they are tax-deductible and count towards your CPD) think to yourself – if your partner, friend or colleague were to collapse, would you be confident you’d know what to do – and to do it well? If not, then it’s probably a good idea to attend a course.

Alex Brazkiewicz MBAcC
July 2023

The BAcC is pleased to offer members discounted rates from numerous First Aid providers. To take advantage of these offers, you can find all the details here.

About me:

Alex Brazkiewicz © Holos Healthcare & Training Ltd

Alex is a 30-year Paramedic, Traditional Acupuncture and Tuina practitioner and Osteopath. He is also co-founder of Holos Healthcare & Training Ltd, an Industry Body approved First Aid training organisation which has just been awarded the “Best Nationwide First Aid Training Provider 2023” by SME news.