by Heather

November 28, 2016

Filing cabinet file showing important tab

We all rely on the medical professionals from our fantastic National Health Service to look after us when we get injured or ill. Whether it's GPs and Practice Nurses at our local surgery, or paramedics, consultants, nurses and surgeons in our hospitals.

But what happens when they're not around? What happens in the time between an accident, and the emergency services arriving?

More...

Saving lives - not just for the professionals

Saving lives in an emergency should not be restricted to medical professionals. It's important that there are people around who can provide the best possible support to those whose health is in danger, while expert assistance is awaited.

Those people are our first aiders. They're the people who take on extra responsibility at work. They're also the first to respond when an accident happens at work.

We're here to train those first aiders for you. We're here to help those who will help you in an emergency, so that you're in the best possible shape when the professionals arrive.

First Aid is Necessary, not an Accessory

As human beings we can each make a huge difference to one another’s lives and well-being. This is particularly true when providing assistance in life or health threatening situations.

Our training helps you to fulfil your potential to respond smartly and skilfully in cases of injury and emergency. Courses such as our Basic Life Support course is perfect for providing a little knowledge to enable any individual to assess and deal with such situations. For those needing more information, or needing a formal workplace qualification the emergency first aid and first aid at work courses provide that extra depth of knowledge.

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Some Statistics

Our paramedics and hospital professionals are fantastic, and we'd all want them looking after us in an emergency. But because of limited resources, they can't always be with us as soon as we'd like.

Ambulance Response Times

Target average response times for ambulances for life-threatening calls are currently 7 minutes. For emergency and urgent calls, that goes up to 18 minutes. However, according to NHS Key Statistics (May 2019), the average, particularly for emergency calls, has been between 22 and 30 minutes (December 2017 to April 2019).

That's a long time in an emergency. And they're still only averages. If you're in an area that's less-well served, you could be waiting a lot longer. In a 2015 study from Totally Communications, the average wait in areas of Norwich was 28 minutes, while in Maldon in Essex, it was 38 minutes. 

Ideal Treatment Times

So in an ideal world, your ambulance would be with you so quickly that all risk to life or long-term injury is minimised. But that's often not the case.

Even if target times are hit, the outlook sometimes isn't good. For example the British Medical Journal reports that the likelihood of surviving a cardiac arrests decreases by 10% for every minute that treatment is delayed. Their statistics show that, even with an ambulance response time of 5 minutes, the chances of the patient surviving to hospital discharge is around 10-11%. 

That's where first aid comes in

This shows how critical the time is between the initial incident and arrival of the ambulance service. Simply waiting for their arrival is often not an option. And the people that will be stepping in during that time are your first aiders.

So when you're planning your first aid training, and buying your first aid kits, defibrillators and other equipment, you should do so with those response times in mind. Ask yourself:

  • How quickly can my first aiders get to an incident, regardless of where it is on my site?
  • What if a first aider is off-sick, or on holiday? Do we have enough first aiders as backup?
  • Where's our defibrillator? Can we get it to a potential incident in time?
  • If we don't have our own defib, where's the nearest public one?
  • Do we need any specific training? Do we have specific risks? Particular industries often have different needs from one another, from construction using heavy equipment and working at heights, to petrochem industries working with dangerous chemicals, and manufacturing working with fabrication and cutting equipment etc.)
  • Do we have any staff members with specific medical needs? Those with diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions and anaphylaxis etc may need different or more complex care than others with no such conditions. First aiders need to be aware of, and trained to deal with them.

Deciding on your first aid training

So if you need any help deciding what first aid training you need, feel free to give us a call. We run the full suite of workplace first aid courses, including the first aid at work and emergency first aid, and have a range of specialist courses including anaphylaxis training, defibrillator courses and training for mental health.

About the author 

Heather

Heather is co-owner and Director of Training of HTS Training Ltd - the specialist first aid training providers. She has been a registered nurse for over 25 years, and has been training first aid commercially for more than 15 years.

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