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Why learn first aid?

Several trained first aiders discuss the importance of learning first aid
First aid is a set of basic skills that anyone can learn. If someone is able to do first aid, they have a set of skills that range from being able to deal with someone who has fainted, or bandaged up an injured body part, to potentially saving someone’s life who suffered a cardiac arrest. It really is something that anyone can learn. First aid is a basic set of skills. I think, at its core, is aimed to maintain life. But aside from that, you can also help with someone with a minor injury, or you could assist medical crews, such as paramedics, nurses, or doctors with their work.
First aid is important, because you never know when someone may have an accident. And you, having first aid knowledge, can literally be the difference between life and death. Even small things, like someone choking on some food, or fainting, having first aid knowledge means you know what to do, and don’t just panic. I think first aid is important, because you can save a life. But it’s also important for yourself, because it can give you confidence in a potentially difficult situation. By helping someone in those vital minutes, before help arrives, you aid the chain of survival. The quicker first aid is provided, the better the chance of recovery.
Statistics show that only about 10% of people who suffer a cardiac arrest, outside of hospitals, survive. However that increases to 40% if CPR is started within two minutes, a defibrillator is attached to the chest within four minutes, and then a paramedic arrives within eight minutes.
I’m a volunteer first aider with St Andrew’s first aid. I regularly volunteer to provide first aid cover at local events in the community, and sometimes citywide and national events. We also occasionally have first aid demonstrations, where we can teach people from the public aspects of first aid. I have trained with the St John Ambulance while at school, and First Aid Africa while at university. I think it’s a vital skill that everyone should have, and also, I find it inherently interesting. I wanted to learn first aid, because I was introduced to it as a scout. Following this, I got a job at the SECC in Glasgow as a first aider, where I’ve continued to work doing first aid.
Covering events for St Andrew’s first aid means that I have to use my first aid skills all the time. However, there have also been a few instances where I’ve had to use it just out in the public. Most recently, I witnessed a guy fall on the street and go into a seizure. Luckily for us, there was a few of us around who knew how to do first aid and we were able to keep the guy safe until the ambulance arrived. I’ve never had to give CPR yet. Although, my brother once had to ring an ambulance for my dad, who he thought may be having a heart attack.
And I had to quickly perform a primary survey, and in my head, run through the steps I would have to take to be able to perform CPR if he ended up needing it. Thankfully, he was fine. I call on my first aid skills all the time. In work, I see things every other day, from a dislocated shoulder, to someone having a nose bleed. Outside work, I luckily don’t need to use first aid, but it’s nice to know what to do in case something serious really did happen.

So why bother learning first aid at all? In this video Emily and Daniel talk to some trained first aiders to find out why a knowledge of first aid is so important.

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Basic First Aid: How to Be an Everyday Hero

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