The public is being urged to learn key first aid skills to help in the event of a terrorist attack.
A group of senior civilian and military clinicians has created a new app to help the public gain knowledge of how they can help those injured in an attack.
CitizenAID, which has received the backing of counter-terrorism police, including information on how to deal with limb loss, open wounds, broken bones and burns.
Brigadier Tim Hodgetts, who is part of the team who developed the app, explained: “CitizenAID is grounded in deep and practical experience.
“The underpinning concepts have been tried and tested in numerous multiple casualty incidents involving blast and gunshot casualties during conflict. The treatment recommended reflects those skills that can be applied by people without medical training to save lives.
“The value of these skills has been clearly shown through year on year improvements in survival from serious combat injuries. These ‘unexpected survivors’ have depended on advances in hospital treatment.
“But more than this, they have depended on the skills of individual soldiers to allow the patient to reach hospital alive. This compares directly to the ability of the public to intervene with life-saving intervention. It is the rationale for CitizenAID.
“We have a duty to transfer the hard won medical lessons from recent conflict to the wider benefit of our public.”
- Someone not breathingDynamic Graphics via Getty Images
- BleedingTrish Gant via Getty Images
- Limb loss
- BurnsSusanna Price via Getty Images
- Broken bonesSt Johns Ambulance
Chief Inspector Richard Harding, head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, told the BBC that the advice was crucial because when a serious incident, such as a terror attack, takes place, the first priority of authorities arriving on the scene will be to deal with those responsible for the incident.
He said: “They won’t have time to deal with the people who are injured and that gap is vital to saving people’s lives.
“So we are really interested in the concept of CitizenAID. It allows the public and people involved in very rare incidents like this to help themselves and help others and their loved ones survive the situation.”
New guidelines issued to police at the end of 2015 saw a change in priorities for authorities attending the scene of an attack, from tending to the injured to dealing with attackers.
CitizenAID also reinforces guidelines issued by the National Police Chief’s Council in 2015 on what to do if you are caught up in a terrorist attack.
People are advised to to follow the mantra “run, hide tell” - run away if you can, hide if this is not possible and, once safe, contact the police.
The UK’s current national threat level is set at “severe”, meaning that an attack is highly likely.