Have you ever seen someone in of need help?
For most of us it’s natural to be a little “freaked out” when we see someone in need of help. Instant and fleeting thoughts may be “It’s not my problem” or “I hope someone knows what to do, because I’m not sure!”
After all, it’s not something we’ve been planning for and it’s not something we wish on anyone.
The important thing is not necessarily what our first reaction is, but how we manage that reaction and what we do next. Even when there is additional help around it’s important that we are ready to do what we can. Why is that?
Helping makes a difference!
Early CPR is an important link in the chain of survival. It has a big impact on the survival rates of the casualty, doubling the chance of survival. To have that impact, it’s important that someone takes the first step – to assess the situation.
One recent study from Western Australia revealed that less than half of out of hospital cardiac arrest casualties receive CPR before the paramedics arrive.
Just think what that means:
While there were concerned and helpful people around, taking that extra step of helping the casualty could have improved the outcome for the casualty, even saved their life.
When someone else is already on the scene.
But what if you’re not the first person to get to the casualty? Can you still make a difference? A recent study from Japan suggests; “Yes, it’s still important to help,even if you’re not the first rescuer.”
A study of more than 5000 adult cardiac arrest cases found that when more than one person helps someone in cardiac arrest, their odds of survival increase.
When 2 people rendered assistance, the chance of survival increased by 33% and when 3 or more helped it increased by 100%. While the study didn’t find any specific actions that improved survival, the link was clear that more help equaled better outcomes.
This means that as well as strong first aid skills, you need to be able to work with other first aiders to provide the best outcomes. In a future article, we will look at specific ways you can do this.
In the mean time, make sure that you’re ready to help and overcome the fear of paralysis when something goes wrong.