Almost three million people go to hospital each year in the UK, with injuries that could have been helped by first aid. First aid skills can save lives and reduce injury.
Learn first aid
Most injuries can be prevented, but it’s vital that people are prepared to deal with injuries when accidents do happen. First aid is easy to learn, and everyone can and should have basic first aid knowledge. The care given before emergency medical help arrives can literally mean the difference between life and death. For example, a blocked airway can kill someone in three to four minutes, but it can take more than eight minutes for an ambulance to arrive. So a simple procedure such as opening someone's airway can save their life while they're waiting for emergency medical help.
The British Red Cross delivers first aid training to thousands of people each year, as well as making first aid learning available online.
In the time it takes to read this page, you could learn enough first aid to save a life.
Deliver first aid
The British Red Cross website includes first aid tips with links to first aid for babies and children, how to resuscitate people, first aid for burns, some common first aid myths, and the best things to have in a first aid kit.
If you haven’t received first aid training, familiarise yourself with the basics using the links above and book yourself on a course that suits you. The British Red Cross offers courses from two to 28 hours, held on evenings, weekdays and weekends.
Following an injury: assess the situation, remain calm, don’t act impulsively, look for continuing danger to the casualties and to yourself and decide whether to call for emergency help. Remember, quiet casualties should always be your first priority as this may be an indication that the person is unconscious. Prioritise the treatment of casualties according to severity of injury. Check response by asking casualties whether they are all right, check the airway and breathing and follow the advice given in each of the Red Cross sections above, depending on the nature of the injury.
After first aid is given
When the immediate danger has passed, be careful of the effects of shock, both for yourself and others – even where there is no physical injury. You may not realise you are in shock, so seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Ask our our first aid expert any questions you have related to first and and being prepared for first aid emergencies.