Category: First aid

Students: Are you sure that’s freshers’ flu and not meningitis?

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A young woman sits with a book and notebook on her lap holding her head while other students drink coffe and smile in the background

© Steve Debenport

 

The new academic term is a time for meeting fresh faces, getting to grips with new timetables… and freshers’ flu. But are you sure that’s what your flu-like symptoms are?

Students sometimes miss the signs of a much more serious illness known as meningitis because its symptoms are similar to that of freshers’ flu – the collective coughs, fevers and viruses caught during your first few weeks at university.

Meningitis is rare – but can be life threatening. Students are at more risk of it because they often live in close proximity to one another.

So if you’re heading to university this month, make sure you know the signs.

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Don’t stop at 999: ‘If it wasn’t for you, she could have died’

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Natasha applied pressure to an elderly woman's bleeding leg to help stem the flow of blood.

As Natasha headed home after a routine hospital check-up, she spotted a commotion up ahead. At first she couldn’t make out what was happening – then she saw the pool of blood. 

“All I could see from the distance was just this red pool gathering and it was getting bigger and bigger,” Natasha said.

She knew she had to help.

“I don’t know why or what came over me – everyone was flapping and no one was helping. I dropped my bag and ran – I’d say about half a mile down the street!” Natasha said.

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Back to school? Don’t forget about first aid

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A girl in a secondary school first aid class holds a boy's arm to practise first aid for a broken bone

© Matt Percival/British Red Cross

The long summer holiday is over – it’s time to head back to school. What’s the most important thing you think pupils will learn this year?

Perhaps they will conquer equations, master French, or triumphantly learn the periodic table off by heart.

But what if they learnt how to save a life?

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A runner’s first aid story: ‘I’m proud of what we did that day’

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A man runs up a hill in a rural locationThe summer of sport continues to thrill with the Rio 2016 Olympics in full swing. It’s enough to inspire even the idlest among us to reach for our trainers and get moving. Here one runner shares his incredible story: 109 marathons, inspiring other runners – and what a difference some first aid skills can make.

Since losing 14 stone, Aaron Howlett has run over 100 marathons. Now he helps others train for their first marathon.

But while out running one day, he faced a different sort of challenge after coming across a woman having a seizure.

Thankfully he knew exactly what to do. Would you?

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The woman who saved a baby in the supermarket queue

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Picture of Julie Durrant who saved a baby choking in a supermarket“I’m not usually the sort of person to push myself forward in a crisis – I’m the sort who would stand back and wait for somebody else to act,” Julie Durrant admits.

But on the day she saw a baby choke in a supermarket, nobody came to help. So Julie stepped in.

Remembering a British Red Cross post she had recently seen on Facebook, Julie was able to save the baby.

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Doing it for mum: Red Cross trainer teaches 6,100 people first aid

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Red Cross trainer Tracey Waddoups demonstrating an AED on a resusci dummy

Big life events can trigger us to re-evaluate what is important in life. Tracey Waddoups from Derbyshire decided it was time for a change after losing her mum Jean to a heart attack at just 61 years old.

“After losing my mum, I decided that I wanted to do something that I am very passionate about,” Tracey explained.

And it turned out that was first aid. Tracey had always enjoyed learning first aid – but mainly as just a hobby.

Now she was ready to make a career out of it, quitting her comfortable job at an IT engineering company for life as a British Red Cross first aid trainer instead.

But she wasn’t just switching careers. Tracey also set herself a monumental challenge in memory of her late mum – to train 6,100 people in first aid.

And just last week she hit her target.

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Dad saves son choking on 20p coin

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Ugo with his son Reuben. He used first aid when his son was choking on a 20p coin.Many of us will give our dads little tokens of appreciation to mark Father’s Day. But some of us may have more reason than others to express our thanks – like little Reuben.

After coming home from a family day out, dad Ugo had laid Reuben down to change his nappy – something he’d done hundreds of times before.

But unbeknown to Ugo, Reuben was holding on to a 20 pence coin his uncle had given to him as pocket money earlier on that day.

When Ugo turned his back, Reuben put the coin in his mouth – and started to choke.

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Why you have to call 999 the moment you suspect a stroke

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If you suspect stroke, call 999

We live in an era that values speed. These days you can have almost super-fast anything – from broadband to noodle soup.

It’s important to be speedy within the world of first aid too – especially when it comes to treating someone for stroke.

One stroke happens every three minutes and 27 seconds in the UK*. That’s about the same time it takes to microwave popcorn.

The good news is we can all very easily help someone having a stroke.

You just need to be able to spot it and call 999. Fast.

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