Imagine that you were out shopping or on your way to work and saw a child collapse in the street; they are unconscious and not breathing. What would YOU do? Shockingly, only around one in ten people would act to administer CPR, according to new research released today.
A national survey of 2,784 people commissioned by DK and the UK’s leading First Aid Providers St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and British Red Cross to mark national First Aid Awareness Week (11th-15th April), shows that only 14% would act to administer CPR, with the overwhelming majority of people (77%) opting to call the emergency services. A further 9% would ask for help from others.
Interestingly, the nation is much more likely to administer CPR on their immediate family. When asked what they would do if their own father collapsed, his heart had stopped and he was not breathing, nearly two in five people (38%) said that they would administer CPR while the majority (58%) would opt first to call the emergency services.
The survey also reveals that most people are put off by the idea of giving mouth-to-mouth. When asked if they would be more likely to carry out CPR if chest compression only was required, just over half (56%) say they would be more likely to try and resuscitate a casualty.
Another key finding was about the use of defibrillators. There is much confusion about when a defibrillator should be used: most respondents (56%) mistakenly thought that they should be used when someone had a heart attack*; less than half (41%) knew that they are used on casualties who are unconscious and not breathing.
*A defibrillator may be used if a casualty has had a heart attack and subsequently became unconscious and stopped breathing
This year, First Aid Awareness Week (11-15th April) will focus on CPR; its aim is to raise awareness of major changes to resuscitation protocols and also to highlight the fact that you no longer need training to use a defibrillator.
Clive James, Training Development Manager at St. John Ambulance says: “These findings reveal a nationwide lack of knowledge and confidence towards CPR which we aim to address during First Aid Awareness Week. The survey has highlighted a need to raise awareness of important guideline changes such as the fact that anyone can now use a defibrillator. We want to encourage all members of the public to try CPR in an emergency situation, as ‘having a go’ is better than doing nothing and could help save a life.”
Other key findings are:
Most people don’t know when to use a defibrillator
The purpose and use of automated devices such as defibrillators* are very unclear. The majority of respondents (58%) don’t know when you should use a defibrillator; only 41% knew that they are used on casualties who are unconscious and not breathing. Alarmingly, most respondents (56%) mistakenly thought that they should be used when someone had a heart attack, showing an urgent need to raise awareness of this emergency scenario.
*A defibrillator is an automated device used to shock the heart of a casualty who is unconscious and not breathing into a normal rhythm
Majority unaware that ANYONE can now use a defibrillator
Two in three people (65%) believe that training is required before they can use a defibrillator; this is not the case as units are increasingly available in public places and have simple, step by step instructions. This is not widely appreciated. Even after being told about the availability and ease of use, only 38% felt confident to use an AED (defibrillator). Most people said that they would not know how to use one, or would lack the experience to do so, or would be nervous of causing more damage than good.
Men far more confident than women about using an AED
Men were far more confident about using an AED (defibrillator), once the availability of instructions was pointed out, whereas women seem very reluctant to do so (53% v 29%). This gender difference is not simply explained by previous CPR training; it seems that men are more ready to dive in and ‘be the hero’, and assume that they will be able to understand such instructions. Far more women than men (37% v 22%) still felt they ‘would not know how to’ use an AED, even with the step by step instructions available.
Majority put off by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
Many people are put off by the idea of month-to-mouth resuscitation. If chest compression only was required, more than half (56%) say they would be more likely to try and resuscitate a casualty. Women are more likely than men (60% v 47%) to say that this would encourage them to administer resuscitation, and older adults are far more likely than those in their 20s to be encouraged by this change in protocol.
Prior knowledge from First Aid Manual is invaluable
Having advanced information about the use of a defibrillator from a First Aid Manual or other source significantly increases confidence levels. Almost 8 in 10 said this would be the result, including those with previous CPR training.
First Aid courses are as popular as ever
Nearly two in three people (65%) have completed a First Aid course at some point – although for older respondents this may of course have been many years previously. Somewhat more men have attended a course than women (68% v 63%). Those aged under 45 were in fact somewhat more likely to have completed a course than older respondents.
Majority of UK residents don’t own a First Aid manual
Despite the fact that the majority of people (57%) don’t own a First Aid manual, seven out of ten people claim that they would feel more confident in treating a number of conditions if they could refer to a First Aid Manual.
Fully revised and including accessible information about the changes to CPR and resuscitation protocols, The First Aid Manual is still the only guide to be written and fully authorised by the UK’s leading first aid providers – St John Ambulance, St. Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross.
For further information about this survey or to find out about First Aid Awareness Week,
contact Pippa Heald on 07904 458366 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors:
• National First Aid Awareness Week is taking place 11th – 15th April 2011. The week is a national campaign in association with the UK’s leading First Aid providers – St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross, and publishers Dorling Kindersley. Its aim is to raise awareness of the importance of first aid and to raise awareness of the changes in CPR/resuscitation protocols.
By prior arrangement with DK, spokespeople from all three first aid societies will be available for interview to discuss the changes in first aid practices with a number of case studies throughout First Aid Awareness Week.
• The survey was commissioned by St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid, British Red Cross and publisher Dorling Kindersley and was completed online using Surveymonkey by over 2,700 people across the UK from 29th January – 9th March 2011.
National statistics from the survey are as follows:
• 14% would administer CPR on a child if he/she had collapsed in the street
• 38% said that they would perform emergency CPR on their father if necessary
• 58% of people don’t know when to use a defibrillator
• 65% of people think that you need training to use a defibrillator
• 78% of people would be more confident about using a defibrillator if they could read how to use it beforehand in a First Aid Manual
• 56% of people would be more likely to perform CPR if only chest compressions, not mouth-to-mouth
• The new, fully revised ninth edition First Aid Manual (£13.99) is still the only reference manual written and endorsed by all three of the UK’s leading First Aid providers, St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross. Written by the First Aid Societies and published by Dorling Kindersley, this edition is a comprehensive guide to treating casualties of all ages in any emergency, fully revised and updated with new guidelines based on the changed first aid protocols.
• About Dorling Kindersley: Since 1974, Dorling Kindersley (DK) has published an extensive range of beautifully illustrated reference books for adults and children. It is owned by media group Pearson PLC, and is part of the Penguin Group. Visit dk.com for more details.
• FIRST AID COURSES
St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross are the premier first aid trainers in the UK and offer distinct charitable, voluntary and training services, as well as working together to raise standards in first aid. In addition, their volunteers provide first aid cover at public events such as football matches, concerts, and other large gatherings. Each organisation works with other organisations to provide training and runs regular first aid courses for individuals for use in the home, workplace, and in schools or on holiday.
For further details please visit the relevant organisation’s website:
• St John Ambulance - www.sja.org.uk
• St Andrew’s First Aid - www.firstaid.org.uk
• British Red Cross - www.redcross.org.uk/firstaid