LIFESTYLE
07/09/2018 00:01 BST

If You Don’t Know First Aid, Here Are 5 Tips For Saving Someone’s Life

You've got a 50:50 chance someone would step in to help.

If you had a medical emergency, there’s a 50:50 chance that someone would be confident enough to save your life. And even then, most wouldn’t even know the correct first aid procedure.

A poll of 2,000 people, released ahead of World First Aid Day (8 September), found that just 4% know the correct first aid skills and would feel confident in helping someone in three of the most life threatening scenario. These are: if a person is bleeding heavily, unresponsive and breathing, or unresponsive and not breathing.

When Joanna Mitchell’s husband suffered the first of two cardiac arrests on New Year’s Day, he became unresponsive and stopped breathing. It was her quick-thinking and first aid knowledge that saved him.

“It was the most terrifying 11 minutes of my life, but if I needed to I would do it again,” she said. “And not just for my husband, for anyone who needed it.”

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Joanna, 52, who has been with husband Graham for almost 20 years, gave him chest compressions for 11 minutes before the ambulance crew arrived. “My first thought was to run but then something kicked in because I had learned first aid and I knew what I had to do,” she said.

“I asked my daughter to call an ambulance and sent her outside to wait for it. She left the phone on speaker and the call handler supported me all the way, even when I thought there was no point continuing.”

In light of the latest findings, the British Red Cross wants the nation to learn five skills that could save a life. These are:

If they are bleeding heavily...

1. Put pressure on the wound with whatever is available to stop or slow down the flow of blood.
2. Call 999 as soon as possible, or get someone else to do it.
3. Keep pressure on the wound until help arrives.

If they are choking...

Someone who is choking may be clutching at their chest or neck and won’t be able to speak, breathe or cough.

1. Hit them firmly on their back between their shoulder blades. This will help to dislodge the blockage.
2. Call 999 if necessary.

If they are unresponsive and not breathing...

If someone is not moving and does not respond when you call them or gently shake their shoulders, they are unresponsive.

1. Check if they are breathing by tilting their head back and looking and feeling for breaths.
2. If they aren’t breathing, call 999 as soon as possible or get someone else to.
3. Give chest compressions. Push firmly downwards in the middle of their chest and then release.
4. Keep pushing firmly at a regular rate until help arrives.

If they are unresponsive and breathing...

If someone is not moving and does not respond when you call them or gently shake their shoulders, they are unresponsive.

1. Check if they are breathing by tilting their head back and looking and feeling for breaths.
2. If they are breathing, move them onto their side and tilt their head back. This will help keep their airway open.
3. Call 999 as soon as possible. 

If they are having an epileptic seizure...

1. The person has collapsed and is making sudden jerking movements. They may also have froth around their mouth.
2. Make them safe and prevent injury. Use a blanket or clothing to protect their head. Do not restrain them.
3. After the seizure, help the person to rest on their side with their head tilted back.
4. Call 999 if necessary. A person will need urgent medical attention if it’s their first seizure, it lasts longer than five minutes, they have hurt themselves or if you’re unsure of what has caused the seizure.