02/04/2012 18:05 BST | Updated 02/06/2012 06:12 BST

A Royal Reminder of the Importance of First Aid

Prince Harry has provided a reminder to us all on the importance of first aid and why it's something everyone should know.

His Royal Highness is said to have given first aid to an opponent on the polo pitch, after he fell from his horse.

According to reports, the Prince came to the aid of US businessman Bash Kazi, who had been knocked unconscious during a charity match in Campinas, Brazil, last month.

Prince Harry's first aid knowledge could well have saved his opponent's life. Putting someone unconscious in the recovery position ensures their airway is kept open so they can breathe. Without this crucial first aid, they could suffocate.

But Prince Harry's quick-thinking action is not the only first aid story in the news. The Saturday's Una Healey is said to have been extremely concerned after her newborn, Aofie Belle, choked.

It's every parent's worst nightmare not knowing what to do if their child is in danger. Thankfully the incident occurred in hospital where medical professionals rushed to her aid.

Una's not alone. A survey by St John Ambulance showed that if someone was choking, just over half of us (53%) would know what to do. It's not enough.

We know people think first aid is important - 98% of us are aware it saves lives - but unfortunately it's something that we don't all make time to learn.

The prompt first aid received by Fabrice Muamba was one part in a chain that ensured his survival. Stadiums are kitted out with all the right equipment and have medics and first aiders on standby. But what if someone you know and love was taken ill at home. In those crucial minutes before an ambulance got there, would you know what to do?

First aid can be the difference between life and death. It's easy to learn - on a training course or downloading an app and reading how to do CPR while waiting for the bus. I urge you to learn first aid today. Don't leave it until you need it.