The Scottish charity St Andrew’s First Aid has warned that people in Scotland are too dependent on the emergency services, and that more than three quarters of the general public do not have any basic first aid skills.
To address this skills shortage, the charity is launching a super-hero themed campaign in order to raise awareness of how important first aid training can be in an emergency situation.
As many as 34,000 people end up in hospital every year due to common accidents, such as burns, trips or falls, which could be dealt with using basic first aid. Despite this, as many as 77 per cent of people lack either the knowledge or the confidence to deal with such situations, so they call an ambulance instead.
The charity’s chief executive Stuart Callison said:
“First aid can be life saving – literally. Research shows we have become too dependent on the emergency services and, as a result, are losing sight of the need for basic first aid skills.
“This is not only putting unnecessary pressure on our emergency services, but is also putting individuals at risk.
“There are many situations in which a delay in action or incorrect practice can cause more damage and even prove fatal. Choking and cardiac arrest require on-the-spot action for the best chance of success, but we’re finding few people are actually equipped with the potentially life-saving skills to come to the rescue.”