First Aid Training Could Actually Save A Life
Would you know what to do if you came across a medical emergency?
Dr. Max Mosley recently received an email from Sophie Arthur, a young woman whose life I helped save 13 years ago.
"The woman, who I guessed was in her 20s, had collapsed. Someone had put her in the recovery position and called 999.
From my medical training, I knew that the first thing you must do is check the person is breathing. I couldn’t see her chest moving and when I put my ear to her mouth, I couldn’t hear or feel anything. Nor could I find a pulse in her neck or her wrist. Her heart seemed to have stopped beating.
This was obviously a medical emergency, so I asked the others to ring 999 again, put a sweater under her neck to tilt her head back – this opens the airways – and began doing CPR.
When you say CPR, many people think ‘mouth-to-mouth’. This is something of a myth.
When CPR was first invented, people were told to alternate doing chest compressions with mouth-to-mouth, but in recent years it has become clear that you are far better off focusing on doing chest compressions alone. This drives oxygen around the body, keeping the brain alive.
In one study of more than 3,700 people who had suffered a cardiac arrest, those just given rapid chest compressions were 22 per cent more likely to survive than those getting a conventional mix of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth.
NHS guidelines on CPR certainly put the emphasis on chest compressions. They state: ‘Put the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of their chest and place your other hand on top, interlocking the fingers. Using your body weight, not just your arms, press straight down, pushing the chest in about two inches.
‘Keeping your hands on the chest, release the compression and allow their chest to return to its original position. Repeat at a rate of two compressions a second until an ambulance arrives or you become exhausted.’
The NHS website says those with CPR training should give compressions with mouth-to-mouth, also known as rescue breaths.
To do a rescue breath, you pinch the person’s nose, seal their mouth with yours, and breathe into their mouth for around a second, checking to see if their chest rises.
Life-Saving Skills We Should All Know
THE human body contains between nine and 12 pints of blood. But if you cut a major artery or vein, you can bleed to death within minutes.
The main thing you must do when you see someone with a serious bleed is to try to stop it by putting direct pressure on the cut, compressing the area.
Use a towel, shirt or anything else to hand but apply lots of pressure. If it becomes soaked with blood, don’t remove it, just keep pressing.
In extreme circumstances, if the bleeding doesn’t stop, you may have to improvise a tourniquet from a towel and a piece of wood so you can really increase the pressure but you should only do this is in a real emergency.
To find out more about our 1,2. and 3 day First Aid Courses contact us at: or call 07730 748 200
Taken from Dr. Max Mosley for the Mail On Sunday. Published 6th July 2019