First aid training can and does save lives

First Aid Training - 30,000 people sustain a cardiac arrest outside hospital each year and quick use of an AED can lead to survivals rates of 50 to 75 per cent – image courtesy of the British Red Cross.
30,000 people sustain a cardiac arrest outside hospital each year and quick use of an AED can lead to survivals rates of 50 to 75 per cent – image courtesy of the British Red Cross.

February is National Heart Month and highlights the importance of having the essential skills and confidence to help save lives.

The manufacturing sector has statistically significantly higher injury rates compared to other industry sectors. Each year around three per cent of workers in the manufacturing sector suffer from an illness they believe to be work-related.*

Every second counts

There is good evidence that the early use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) has a far more beneficial outcome for the casualty than if that intervention is delayed. Thirty thousand people sustain a cardiac arrest outside hospital each year and quick use of an AED (within three to five minutes) can lead to survivals rates of 50 to 75 per cent.**

When used alongside CPR, an AED provides an responsive person who is not breathing with the best possible chance of survival.

First aid skills in action

Would you know what to do if someone was having a heart attack? Tim Connor did, which is why his colleague Tony is still alive and well today.

Last year, Tim was sitting in his office, in a tea company in Hampshire, when he was asked to check on Tony. Feeling unwell, Tony had taken himself off to a quiet meeting room to rest when a colleague found him. Something was seriously wrong.

When Tim walked into the room, he saw Tony sitting in a chair, looking poorly and breathing very rapidly. He suspected that Tony was having a heart attack.

While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Tim made sure that Tony continued to sit in a comfortable position in the chair and tried to put him at ease.

“As Tony felt very anxious, I knew that I needed to remain calm in order to help reassure him,” Tim said. “I told him that help was on its way and that he might feel better if he tried taking steady breaths.”

For peace of mind, Tim also asked his colleague to locate the automated external defibrillator (AED), just in case Tony became unresponsive. Thankfully he didn’t need to use it.

Following advice from the emergency call handler on the other end of the phone, a colleague offered Tony an aspirin tablet to chew slowly. This can help to thin the blood and provide some relief if someone is having a heart attack.

Tim continued to monitor and reassure Tony until the first-response paramedic arrived ahead of the ambulance. They confirmed Tony was having a heart attack. Soon the ambulance arrived and Tony was then taken to hospital where he had emergency surgery on his heart.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, it wasn’t long until Tony was recuperating at home. He is now fully recovered and back to cycling to work each day. Tim’s quick actions saved Tony’s life.

Tim learnt first aid with the British Red Cross. And since doing so, he’s helped people both inside and outside of work with minor cuts, bruises and bangs over the years – some of which were while he was a scuba diving instructor.

“I attend regular first aid courses with the Red Cross and I am an appointed first aider within my organisation,” he said. “Without the first aid skills I learnt, I don’t know if I would have been so level headed when this happened.”

Who would you turn to in a first aid crisis?

As leaders in first aid training, at the British Red Cross we believe that first aid skills can help to save lives and prevent minor accidents and illnesses becoming more serious. Our practical approach allows us to train your staff thoroughly and effectively. This means our interactive courses teach your staff the essential skills and confidence to help save lives when an accident strikes. We are acknowledged by the HSE as standard setters in first aid training.

Benefits of training with us include:

  • 99% customer satisfaction score***
  • training venues at a location near you – national coverage, delivered locally
  • flexible training solutions tailored to your needs – either on site or at one of our venues
  • automated external defibrillator (AED) training as standard on all first aid at work courses
  • free online, post course learning support through our Safe Hands community.

To find out more about our first aid at work or AED training courses, call 0845 508 3519 or visit our website. ****

Where can I get an AED for my workplace?

We have a variety of AED models available for lease and purchase.

Contact us on 0845 619 6501 or at RCTSales@redcross.org.uk to find out more about the options available

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*HSE Health and safety statistics annual report for Great Britain 2016

**European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Resuscitation 2015 – Section 2

***According to our 2016 delegate feedback

****Calls cost 5p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.