Category: First aid

10 things you didn’t know about the Red Cross


1. During the Second World War, as well as sending food parcels, we sent artificial limbs to wing commander Douglas Bader in a parcel while he was a prisoner of war. We also sent more than 14,000 musical instruments to POWs, resulting in orchestras at 100 camps. Books were also provided for recreational and study purposes.

2. Our Pakistan Floods Appeal reached 2.5 million people on Twitter.

3. We have one web-footed volunteer – a dog called Loki. The Newfoundland is a member of the water rescue team in Northern Scotland and prized for his life-saving prowess in water, in case of  floods.

4. Agatha Christie was a voluntary aid detachment for the Red Cross during the First World War  and Second World War.

5. As well as donations to our emergency appeals, we receive some more unusual things in the post from the public, such as a prosthetic leg… and tea bags.

6. Our fourth most profitable charity shop – taking nearly £100,000 profit already this year – is situated in a sunken car park, off the beaten track, in Banchory, Scotland.

7. Percy Lane Oliver, a British Red Cross volunteer, set up the UK’s first blood collection service in 1921. The Red Cross supported the NHS with blood transfusion until 1987.

8. Rudyard Kipling helped with our war library, which supplied free books and magazines to sick and wounded soldiers and sailors in the UK and abroad during the First World War.

9. The Red Cross worked with the Department of health to produce dressings made of moss throughout the Second World War. There was substantial demand from hospitals which led to a huge saving in the use of cotton wool. The dressings were made by Red Cross work parties throughout Scotland. By June 1945, there were sufficient stocks. During the war 83,616 dressings were dispatched from Ayrshire, 35,475 from the Glasgow regional centre, and 35 sacks and 2037 dressings from Lanarkshire.

10. It may only be October, but our Christmas cards are already available online.

Shivering? You must have heatstroke


Image: Stuart Dowell/Flickr

Last Wednesday I was teaching on one of our first aid courses. The topic of the day? Extremes of temperature.

We looked at a range of conditions, from heatstroke to hypothermia.

On looking at the signs and symptoms of heatstroke, one of my students said she had experienced shivering when she had heatstroke while camping.

“That’s not what it says in the book!” I said.

“Well, I was definitely shivering!” she replied.

We do hear some weird, non-textbook symptoms when we’re treating casualties. This was certainly one of them. More

How to call an ambulance

Image of an ambulance


It seems simple. Dial 999/112*, give your address and wait for the ambulance. If only!

Calling for an ambulance can be a difficult experience, especially if the situation is stressful or someone you know is injured. 

I hope you never have to dial those three digits, but if you do, remember these simple things:

Try to speak clearly

Remember the operator can’t see the situation. They are relying solely on what you tell them, speaking clearly and explaining the situation will help them greatly. Try and give clear and concise answers to the questions they ask. More