First Aid Campaign Launched

12 April 2010, 09:23 | Updated: 12 April 2010, 09:39

A new survey has revealed two-thirds of people in Kent wouldn't be able to save someone's life in an emergency.

St John Ambulance have released the findings to launch a new campaign to get more of us trained in first aid.

The results also show:

  • a quarter (25%) of people in Kent would do nothing and just wait for an ambulance or hope that another passer-by knows first aid
  • over a third (40%) would try and do first aid even though they are not sure what to do
  • just over a quarter (26%) 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.

As part of the new campaign, the charity is offering a free pocket-sized guide featuring first aid skills that can help in life threatening situations.

Vanessa Hannan, CEO, St John Ambulance Kent comments: "We believe that anyone who needs first aid should receive it and yet, as our latest research shows, that’s not happening. This highlights that we can’t rely on other people to have the skills - everyone should take the responsibility to learn first aid themselves. Armed with this knowledge we can all be the difference between a life lost and a life saved."

The survey also revealed that if faced with a man thrown off his motorbike and not breathing, over two-fifths (42%) wrongly say they’d know what to do. However, of these people, 48% would make the mistake of not moving him for fear of spinal injury, yet if he’s not breathing and CPR is not given, he’ll die.

Other scenarios showed people who thought they knew what to do didn’t always get it right:

  • If someone was choking, only 56% would intervene with back blows – the correct procedure. Worryingly 7% would stick their fingers down his or her throat which could push the obstruction further down
  • For a middle-aged man with chest pains, more than 1 in 10 (14%) would put him in the recovery position while waiting for an ambulance which would not relieve the strain on the heart and may aggravate the condition, instead they should sit him in a comfortable position.

To get your free pocket sized guide, just text LIFE to 85010 or visit the St John Ambulance website.