Don’t Stop at 999: Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Scully has attended a British Red Cross parliamentary event to help people save lives

MPs from across the UK attended a British Red Cross event in Westminster recently.
New research reveals up to 59% of deaths from injury could potentially be prevented if public knew first aid: people call 999 then do nothing
The British Red Cross is calling for more opportunities for people to learn first aid throughout their lives

Up to 59% of ‘pre-hospital’ deaths from injury could potentially be prevented if more people stepped in with some simple first aid, according to new research commissioned by the British Red Cross and conducted by the University of Manchester. The research was launched in Westminster on Tuesday 6th September and attended by Paul Scully, MP for Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park.

Whilst 93% will call for an ambulance if they find someone with an injury, first aid intervention of any kind was infrequent. Around half did not attempt any first aid while waiting for the emergency medical services to arrive*. Mr Scully learnt two simple first aid skills and pledged support for others to also have the opportunity to gain the confidence and learn the skills that could save a life.

The research, which has studied data from coroners’ offices, was last carried out 22 years ago by Prof Anthony Redmond, who also led the new research which was conducted by Dr Govind Oliver from the University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.

Mr Scully commented:

“I received a lot of emails last year about supporting first aid education, so I was pleased to have a chance to find out more.

“I want to thank the British Red Cross for organising this event and for having me there. I was surprised to learn that so many deaths could have been prevented by just a few simple first aid steps before the ambulance arrives.

“I am glad to see the government is giving serious thought to the work that has been done in relation to this.”

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education said:

“The good news is that most people are calling 999. But after calling 999 we want people to then do something in those crucial minutes before the ambulance arrives, every person needs to recognise that in an emergency, you are part of the ‘chain of survival.”

The British Red Cross is calling for everyone in the UK to learn two basic first aid skills that could help to prevent the number of people who die from injuries, such as those resulting from falls or road traffic accidents, before reaching hospital.

“Sadly in the majority of deaths we looked at, the simplest interventions could have helped keep someone alive until they got to hospital. For example something as simple as turning someone on their side and tilting their head back to keep their airway open – could be all it takes to make that difference between life and death in certain situations”.

The charity is calling for more opportunities to learn first aid throughout one’s lifetime, starting at school, but also through the driving test and public health initiatives.

Details

Find the report and more about the British Red Cross campaign online at: redcross.org.uk/dontstopat999

Show your support on social media using the campaign hashtag #DontStopAt999