Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017.
Richard attended a British Red Cross event in Westminster on Tuesday where new research revealed that up to 59% of ‘pre-hospital’ deaths from injury could potentially be prevented if more people stepped in with some simple first aid. The research was commissioned by the British Red Cross and conducted by the University of Manchester.
Data taken from coroners’ offices showed that while 93% will call for an ambulance if they find someone with an injury, first aid intervention of any kind was infrequent. Around half did not attempt any first aid while waiting for the emergency medical services to arrive.
At the event, Richard learnt two simple first aid skills and pledged support for others to also have the opportunity to gain the confidence and learn the skills that could save a life.
Richard said: “I was shocked to hear that so many deaths potentially could have been prevented by some basic first aid. Something as simple as turning someone on their side and tilting their head back to keep their airway open could be all it takes to make that difference between life and death in certain situations.”
Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education said: “The good news is that most people are calling 999. But after calling 999 we want people to then do something in those crucial minutes before the ambulance arrives. Sadly in the majority of deaths we looked at, the simplest interventions could have helped keep someone alive until they got to hospital.”
The British Red Cross is calling for everyone in the UK to learn two basic first aid skills that could help to prevent the number of people who die from injuries before reaching hospital. The simple interventions which could have saved lives and improved outcomes are:
• Breathing: turning someone on their side and tilting the head to open the airway if they are unresponsive and breathing.
• Bleeding: applying pressure to a wound to stem blood flow.
The charity is calling for more opportunities for people to learn first aid, starting at school, but also through the driving test and public health initiatives.
Find the report and more about the British Red Cross campaign here.