First aid

Art from the past: healthy living for a post-war nation

Healthy body 1934 poster

Every month, we dust off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. After the First World War, the Red Cross switched its focus to getting the British public fit and healthy, with some inspiring posters.  

The Red Cross played a huge role in the First World War. Over 90,000 people signed up to volunteer, helping with everything from nursing to air raid duty.

Once the war ended, we decided to have a big think about how to support the country in peacetime.

In May 1919, we announced that our role now included “the improvement of health, the prevention of disease, and the mitigation of suffering throughout the world”.

Sounds just like a lot of New Year resolutions, doesn’t it? More

‘Oh, yes they did.’ How First World War nurses put on a pantomime

Xmas-pantoOur Red Cross nurses saw untold horrors and worked themselves to exhaustion during the First World War – but many still found time to put on a Christmas pantomime.

As most of us settle in for another warm, well-fed festive season, it seems almost incredible to think of how different life was for many Britons a hundred years ago.

That’s certainly the case for the Red Cross nurses – known as Voluntary Aid Detachments – who served in military hospitals across Europe during the Great War.

These young women (and sometimes they were very young) saw and dealt with scenes that are unimaginable to us now. More

Black Friday: how to survive it

Xmas-shopping-crowd-BLOGThe Thanksgiving shopping bonanza is the latest American import to reach these shores – but who knew getting a bargain could be such dangerous work?

They came; they saw; they had a dust-up.

As the clock struck twelve last night, thousands of ravenous bargain-hunters crammed themselves into Britain’s stores – closely followed by scores of police officers.

While speakers rang out with Tis the season to be jolly, numerous scuffles and punch-ups erupted in the aisles as shoppers jostled for heavily discounted goods. More

Meet Jess: the humble life-saver

Jess-Bradley-HCA-winner-BLOGJess Bradley has won a major award after saving the life of a man with a horrific injury – but she doesn’t see anything remarkable about her actions.

Today, Shetland Islander Jess Bradley was given a young heroes’ award by the British Red Cross.

And no wonder. Even a mere mention of the disturbing scene she had to deal with (helping a man with a deep gash in his neck) would be enough to make most people feel queasy.

But the trained first aider is surprisingly blasé about the whole incident. As she puts it: “I didn’t think it was anything remarkable – it was what I’d been trained to do, an instinct.” More

Dogs of war: the first aiders on four legs

DOGS-gas-mask-houndsDuring the First World War, the British Red Cross got lots of help from an unlikely quarter. As Armistice Day approaches, we sniff around for the full story.

At first, it sounds like a particularly far-fetched episode of Lassie.

A dog, you say, carrying first aid supplies through the whizzing bombs and flying bullets of no man’s land? And all to reach and save wounded soldiers? It sounds preposterous. But it’s true – every word of it. More

Katie Melua finds spider in her ear

Katie-Melua-BLOGThe singer was being driven the closest thing to crazy (sorry, couldn’t resist) by a scratching noise in her ear – until doctors made a grisly discovery.

Here’s a creepy-crawly tale to make your skin, well, crawl.

Katie Melua recently visited her doctor about a repetitive scratching noise in her ear that had persisted for a full week.

The songstress was concerned it might be an early sign of tinnitus, but instead the doctor found something altogether different – an incy wincy spider had set up home inside her head. More

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