accessibility & help

First aid comedy & tragedy


First rule of first aid: make them laugh. OK, that's not true. But other people's mistakes are a great way to learn, and humour does help.

Find the serious point in these clips of footballing first aid mishaps. Be warned, students have begged to see them again and again.

Learning objectives

By the end of the activity students will be able to:

  • identify what went wrong in a series of comical first aid mistakes.
  • describe the likely feelings of a first aider who causes discomfort or risks further injury to a casualty.
  • assess the benefits of offering first aid against the fear of making things worse.

Even before helping someone injured, first aiders are trained to be aware of possible danger and to make the area safe. Ask students to write down what can go wrong for first-aiders. What can cause further injury?

Then show these video clips from football matches, created and uploaded by members of the public.

They are funny, but with a serious point.

  • Identify the specific causes of each incident. Sum it up in a word. What action could the first-aiders have taken to reduce the risk of the incident. Talk about how the first aiders involved might have felt. Is making a mistake in public – and having it replayed on Youtube – worse than making a mistake in private? Might the anxiety of helping in public, and not wanting to get it wrong, have actually contributed to the errors? Do you think this fear of humiliation prevents some members of the public from stepping forward to give first aid?
  • "I wanted to help but didn't do anything because I didn't want to make things worse". This is a common barrier that prevents people offering first aid. Discuss it. Experts say that the risks of doing further harm are often overstated. What would make people feel more confident? In reality if someone is bleeding heavily or is unresponsive and not breathing they need help fast – whatever the risks.



This resource was first published in December 2010. It was reviewed in June 2013.




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