Category: First aid

Read true stories of people who used first aid to help in an emergency, or even to save a life. They will help you learn what to do in a crisis and build your own first aid skills.

Knowing first aid helped Scarlett save her father’s life

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It was a peaceful day in Gloucester. Richard was working out in his home gym. His daughter Scarlett and her friend were hanging out in the living room.

But when Richard became unresponsive and stopped breathing, Scarlett used the first aid skills her dad had taught her to save his life.

“I complained to Scarlett about feeling ill. She offered to fetch me a glass of water so I went upstairs to lie down,” Richard said.

“When she returned, I’d collapsed on the bed and I wasn’t breathing. She said my face had turned blue.”

Luckily, Richard and his wife are both paramedics. They knew the importance of first aid and taught Scarlett how to do chest compressions when she was young.

“Scarlett began by moving me off the bed and tilting my head back to clear my airway.

“After looking, listening and feeling for breath, she called 999. An operator helped her by counting out a rhythm for her to perform chest compressions.

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Festival ready? Don’t forget these five festival essentials

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Group of people at a music festival

It’s time to dig out your wellies, dust off your tent and hunt for that hard-earned ticket you spent ages queuing online for. The festival season is upon us.

Whether you’re off to one of the smaller, more intimate festivals, or descending upon the pop-up sensation that is Glastonbury – the festival checklist is always the same.

Wellies: check. Trendy (or outrageous) hat: check. A waterproof tent: well, fingers crossed.

Even if you do forget something, you can usually improvise – ask anyone who’s ever rocked the bin-bag poncho look.

But even so, there are a few small things well-worth taking. Don’t forget these five festival essentials.

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First aid for family days out

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A man holds a toddler as they lean together over a shallow stream and drop something in the water - first aid for family days out.

As spring finally brings warm and sunny weather, and even summer seems just around the corner, many of us are getting out and about with little ones.

It’s hard to beat spending time with the family. You could be visiting an attraction, taking a trip to the park or just having a picnic in the back garden.

But with excitement levels running high, trips and tumbles can be common on days out. Fortunately, with some simple first aid know-how you can feel confident that you could help should you need to.

Read on for our handy first aid tips for days out.

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First aid for burns

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A family of adults and children gather round a bonfire burning in a large metal fire pit.

© Graham Oliver

Enjoying some fireworks?

It’s a lot of fun when friends and family gather to ‘Ooo’ and ‘Ahh’ at the night sky. Firework after firework can light up the darkness with an almighty bang.

Whether you’re having your own party, attending a friend’s or off to a display, there’s a common risk that comes from celebrating with fireworks – burns.

But have no fear. We’ve got some top advice for helping someone with a burn.

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Nosebleed: “I knew I had to lean her forward, not back”

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Claire holds her arm around her daughter Bella

Claire and Bella, ©Teri Pengilley/UNP

When it comes to nosebleeds, a lot of people aren’t sure what to do. Luckily, Claire did and was able to use her skills to help her daughter. 

Dealing with a nosebleed might seem simple.

But recently, the British Red Cross asked parents with young children how to help a child with a nosebleed. An astonishing 65 per cent did not choose the correct action to help.*

Learning what to do if a little one has a nosebleed will help you deal with the situation quickly and calmly. Here, Claire shares the story of how she helped her daughter when her nose was bleeding. More

Restart a heart: how Joanna saved her husband’s life

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Joanna and Graham with their arms around each other in their garden

Joanna and Graham, © British Red Cross

On a quiet Sunday morning Joanna’s husband Graham’s heart suddenly stopped. He became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Luckily, Joanna knew what to do and used her first aid skills saved his life.

“My first thought was to run! My daughter was screaming. But then something kicked in and I knew what I had to do,” Joanna said.

“I asked my daughter to call an ambulance and put the phone on loud speaker. Then I sent her outside to wait for the ambulance.”

Luckily, Joanna had learned first aid so she knew how to help her husband.

“I started doing chest compressions (CPR) and the emergency call handler on the phone counted me through sets of 30,” she explained.

“You have to be quite rigorous when you’re doing them, going about a third of the way into the body.

“The ambulance arrived after about eleven minutes and the crew came in.

“I literally remember standing there. I knew my arms were so sore from doing the chest compressions.

“It was the most terrifying eleven minutes of my life, but I would do it again, and again and again.

“And not just for my husband, for anyone who needed it. Because no matter who needs help, someone loves that person, it’s someone’s husband or son or daughter.”

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First aid in school: saving lives will be on the curriculum

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Eight-year-old Stephen stands in his school uniform holding a sign that says 'I can save a life so can you'

Stephen learned first aid in schools and saved a woman’s life © Mike Poloway/UNPChristchurch School, Skipton. 4 December 2017. Stephen Orbeldaze.

Great news! The government is planning to add first aid to the school curriculum in England.

Years of campaigning by the British Red Cross and other organisations are finally paying off. Children and young people will now get the skills they need to save a life.

Why is first aid in school so important?

British Red Cross research found that more than nine in ten adults (95%)* would not be able, confident or willing to help in three life-threatening first aid emergencies.

Teaching first aid in schools will help change this. We want everyone to know how to save a life.

But does first aid education in school really work?

Yes. Red Cross teaching resources have helped children and young people learn first aid in school for years.

So we know that children who learn first aid go on to use it. These real-life stories of young first aiders show how this works.

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