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Survey reveals 'alarming' gap in emergency first aid knowledge

A significant number of people don’t have the basic skills required to provide emergency first aid, new survey results suggest

The first aid associations’ poll of almost 2,000 people found that 77% either didn’t know how to administer CPR, or were unsure of how to do it.

Although one in five people surveyed said they might be confident enough to try CPR after watching it performed on television, only one in four were fully confident they could actually perform resuscitation.

The survey - carried out for St John's Ambulance, St Andrew’s Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross – also found that men felt more confident to try CPR - 30% compared to 20% of women.

Marking the start of national first aid awareness week, the survey also revealed an ‘alarming lack of knowledge’ of common first aid scenarios.

One in three people did not know how to respond to a toddler who is choking, one in four would not know what to do if someone was suffering an asthma attack and almost 60% did not know how to treat a nosebleed.

National first aid awareness week runs from 2 to 9 February.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Even though I am a nurse, I did not know first aid and was concerned because people expect nurses to know first aid, but not always. This was the reason why I joined St John Ambulance. The training is free, the work voluntary, but you get the chance to make new friends and go on duty at public events, gaining valuable first aid experience. St John Ambulance do recognise a nurse's qualification too (doctors and paramedics too). Having first aid experience and being a nurse compliment each other.

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