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You Don’t Need a License to Save Lives

August 8, 2018 Charity No Comments Email Email

Did you know that up to 15%[1] of motor vehicle accident deaths could be prevented, if first aid was administered before paramedics arrived? Based on our national road toll over the past five years alone, that’s more than 1,100 Australian lives that could have been saved.

The Australian Red Cross has announced that this year’s World First Aid Day (Saturday 8th September) will focus on educating people on how to respond if they are first on the scene of a car crash. The campaign, titled ‘You Don’t Need a License to Save Lives’ will be drawing attention to the rising rate of car accidents and how the public can help if they are first on the scene.

Ninety per cent of car accidents in Australia are caused by distraction (including mobile phone), fatigue, speed, and alcohol or drugs.[2] It is known that the care provided in the first few minutes of a car accident can make a statistical difference in both mortality and morbidity. A study by Flinders University in 2013 showed that a bystanders’ decisions not to intervene could be due to insufficient first aid knowledge and therefore an inability to judge and determine the severity of injuries and need for first aid[3].

With 1266 deaths on Australian roads last year, and the Christmas holiday period particularly bad, Australian Red Cross are looking to educate people on how to respond if they are first at an accident site.

“This year we are using World First Aid Day to raise awareness about responding to a car accident scene,” said World First Aid Day spokesperson, Janie McCullagh. “It is well known that unless timely first aid is provided, many severely injured people do not survive. The application of first aid techniques, in particular proper positioning of the victim prior to the arrival of emergency response team, can mean the difference between life and death.

“The bystander effect can lead to tragic consequences, so it’s important to equip all Australians to handle an emergency situation. We estimate less than 5% of Australians are trained in first aid each year, so we want to dramatically increase and improve the national first aid knowledge.”

Did You Know:

–        Globally, there are 1.25 million road traffic deaths and 50 million injured each year

–        Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death of among those aged 15-29

–        49% of those killed are pedestrians.

–        One of the most common causes of death for road crash casualties is anoxia – a lack of oxygen supply caused[KJ1] [u2] [u3]  – by a blocked airway[4]

“With many families planning their Christmas and summer holidays, now is the time to become first aid ready,” said Janie McCullagh. “Even if you’re not planning on a car trip, a simple Australian Red Cross First Aid course or kit could help you save a life.”

Preparation can be as simple as remembering the basic life support acronym DRSABCD:

D – Check for Danger

R – Check for Response

S – Send for help. Call 000

A – Open Airway

B – Check for normal Breathing

C – Start CPR (30 chest compressions: 2 breaths)

D – Attach Defibrillator

Be prepared and book into an Australian Red Cross First Aid course and make sure you have an Australian Red Cross Motorist or 4WD First Aid Kit in your car.

–        Book into a Red Cross first aid training course 1300 367 428 or online

–        Buy a Red Cross first aid kit

–        Download the Australian Red Cross first aid app

Income generated through Red Cross training programs and products supports ongoing humanitarian work, nationally and internationally.

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