accessibility & help

Don't stop at 999

A new study commissioned by the British Red Cross and conducted by the University of Manchester found that:

  • up to 59 per cent of deaths from injury may have been prevented if first aid was given before the emergency medical services arrived
  • first aid was only attempted in around half of all cases (excluding where the person was found dead) despite someone being at the scene of the accident before the arrival of the emergency medical services 96 per cent of the time.

A woman approaches an unconscious cyclist who has fallen off his bike© Info

Simple actions save lives

Our #DontStopAt999 campaign aims to raise awareness of how simple first aid could help to reduce the number of people who die from injury before reaching hospital.

There is a window of opportunity between dialling 999 and the arrival of the emergency medical services where two simple first aid actions could save someone’s life:

  • turning an unresponsive person who is breathing on their side and tilting their head back to open their airway
  • applying pressure to a heavy bleed to help stem the flow of blood.

The British Red Cross is calling for more opportunities to learn first aid throughout people’s lifetime, starting at school – but also through the driving test and public health initiatives.

There are over 2 million university students in the UK (with many living independently for the first time), but almost 70 per cent of students lack the confidence to perform simple first aid. That's why we've created an interactive quiz aimed at students (aged 18-24) to help them learn how to help a friend or loved one in a first aid emergency.

First aid advice: unresponsive and breathing

A man calls 999 for another man who has collapsed

Learn how to help someone who is unresponsive and breathing.

Learn the skill >

Advocacy

We want first aid education to be integrated into everyday life, from schools and driving tests to public health strategies.

More on first aid advocacy >

True stories

Rowan stands at a bus stop where he gave first aid to an 11-year-old schoolboy who was hit by a car

Have you ever been injured and needed first aid? Share your own story with us and read our real-life first aid stories.

Read the stories >

First aid advice: bleeding heavily

Woman gives first aid applying pressure to a wound to stem a heavy bleed.

Learn to help someone who is bleeding heavily.

Learn the skill >

First aid app

Woman holding an iPad running British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid app

Get life-saving skills at your fingertips with our free first aid app for Apple, Android and Windows.

get the app >

Book a first aid course

Learners at a first aid course are trained in CPR

Choose from our public and workplace first aid courses throughout the UK. You can also learn as a group at a venue to suit you.

Book a first aid course >

Related

'If it wasn't for you, she could have died'

Natasha used first aid to help an elderly lady bleeding heavily from her leg.

Natasha helped save an elderly woman's life by applying pressure to a heavily bleeding wound.

Read more >