Students encouraged to learn First Aid

St. John’s Ambulance. Image: Lesley Cann

A recent research by the Red Cross reveals that 70% of students do not feel confident performing simple aid actions that could potentially save a life.

The study – conducted by the British Red Cross at the University of Manchester – shows that while 93% of students coming across an injured person call an ambulance, only half of them offer any first aid.

The research also reveals that 59% of pre-hospital deaths from injury could be prevented with a basic understanding of first aid. Some are concerned that learning these skills should be more widely encouraged.

The Red Cross’ findings’ suggest that schemes similar to CPR in Schools, where pupils are taught basic lifesaving skills, should be introduced for university students.

Joe Mulligan, Head of First Aid Education at the Red Cross, states: “Something as simple as turning your friend 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.”

Lesley Cann, PR Officer for St John’s Ambulance in the North, told the Courier how important it is for university students to learn first aid.

She said: “First aid is particularly important for newly-independent young people.

“Whether you’ve cut your finger in the kitchen or one of your mates has had too much to drink on a night out, knowing what to do can calm down a stressful situation and could save a life.

“Uni life is an exciting time when students are bursting with new skills, and we think that the ability to give life-saving first aid should be part of that mix.”

Mahatir Pasha, a student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, writing for the Independent called for all university students to learn first aid.

According to Mahatir, this research is one-of-a-kind in 22 years and has naturally caused a growing concern that students might be unprepared to deal with emergency situations, when a friend is in need of help.

Newcastle University students can learn first aid through the St John’s Ambulance LINKS society or the Give it a Go scheme.

Those, who are interested in learning first aid, can visit the Facebook group Newcastle LINKS to find out more about the sessions St John’s Ambulance provide or have a look at the Heartstart courses offered by Give it a Go on the NUSU website.

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