Wheelchairs of World War One: the untold story

Wheelchair-WW1-amputee-BLOGYears before the NHS even existed, the British Red Cross was providing mobility aids and prosthetic limbs to injured soldiers. As our service celebrates its 100th anniversary, a new documentary explores the harrowing stories of the first people we helped.

If you’re free this Sunday evening, here’s an idea.

Grab a drink, park yourself on the sofa and check out Secret History: World War One’s Forgotten Heroes on Channel 4 (7-8pm).

This fascinating programme looks at the heart-rending experiences of almost two million British soldiers who suffered life-changing injuries and disabilities during the First World War. More

Five steps to stop Ebola – in pictures

©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed nearly 5,000 lives since March. The Red Cross has been tackling the outbreak since the outset.

These striking images from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, show Red Cross workers on the ground fighting the disease and the people they are trying to help.

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Halloween: a survival guide

Halloween-scary-kidsThe whole point of Halloween is to be a bit ghoulish, but it’s better if the blood remains fake and the looks of shocked horror are tongue-in-cheek. Here are some tips to keep you and your little monsters safe.

1. Pumpkin alert!

Everyone worries about the children at Halloween, but they’re generally not the ones wielding a sharp knife and trying to cut intricate holes into a big, slippery orange vegetable.

Halloweeen-pumpkinIn the USA last year (where pumpkin-carving is almost a national sport), around 4,400 people turned up at emergency rooms with genuinely scary injuries. Be careful, parents. More

The curious tale of the ‘black doctor of Paddington’

Dr-John-Alcindor-BLOGA determined doctor who overcame bigotry and prejudice to help others during the First World War has finally won recognition. As Britain celebrates Black History Month, we trace his story.

John Alcindor was a gifted doctor, respected and trusted by his many patients.

Originally from Trinidad, John graduated with a medical degree from Edinburgh University in 1899. He then worked in London hospitals for several years before going into practice on his own.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, he naturally wanted to use his skills to help with the war effort.

But despite his qualifications and experience, he was rejected outright by the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1914 because of his ‘colonial origin’.

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The A&E team: always on call

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Smiles ahead: Roxane Dacey, staff nurse Corrina Newman and Zaneta Podgorska.

Our crack team is easing the pressure on over-worked staff at a busy hospital, while ensuring patients get the individual attention they deserve.

It’s no secret that life is incredibly busy at an accident and emergency (A&E) department.

British hospitals are famously struggling to cope with ever-rising numbers of patients, and A&E departments are typically in the eye of the storm.

But now doctors and nurses at one Swansea hospital are breathing a little easier, after the British Red Cross set up a support service right in the heart of the building. More

Fighting Ebola: “I’ve never experienced anything like this”

p-SLE0632Ebola has claimed nearly 5,000 lives across Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The outbreak is getting worse. John Punter, from Bristol, has been in Sierra Leone for two months. The 59-year-old describes his experience of fighting Ebola and how we can stop the spread of the deadly disease.

Before coming to Sierra Leone, my eldest son asked me: “Do you know what you’re getting yourself into?”

If truth be told, I didn’t – no one did. Worse still, it has taken the world even longer to wake up to the grim reality of this Ebola outbreak.

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Cardiac arrest runner gets lucky escape

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Sean Deans with first aid volunteers David Hart and Steven Gay. PIC: Alasdair MacLeod

When a young athlete collapsed at the end of a half-marathon, our cool-headed volunteers saved his life.

It was only as he crossed the finish line that Sean Deans realised all might not be well.

The 29-year-old, who had just completed the Great Scottish Run, recalled: “I just felt as if I needed to catch my breath. Next thing I know, I woke up in an ambulance.”

It turns out the army reservist had suffered cardiac arrest. As he lay there on the ground in Glasgow, he actually ceased breathing and his heart stopped. There seemed little hope. More

Tackling Ebola: facts and figures

Ebola stats October 2014

Over 4,000 volunteers are working to:

  • dispel rumours or cultural misconceptions of the disease
  • treat patients at a health centre near Kenema, Sierra Leone
  • bury bodies safely and respectfully
  • highlight the importance of seeking early treatment
  • tackle stigma.

You can support their work to stop the spread of this disease by donating to our Ebola Outbreak Appeal

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