Learn first aid and save a life

Editorial

PAPUA New Guinea is ranked as having one of the highest rates of road accidents in the Pacific, making road safety a major cause of concern.
There is no confirmed statistics to really show the trend but from authorities like the Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited and the National Road Transport Authority, statistics they have underline the importance of having basic road safety awareness and life-saving techniques.
Life-saving techniques is something many of us don’t know much about. It is all about first aid.
To promote the importance of first aid training to prevent injuries and save lives, World First Aid Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of September every year. This year, the global event fell on last Saturday. It was quite disappointing that the day went by without much fanfare.
According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) website, the day was instituted in 2000 and has been celebrated each year ever since. The term ‘first aid’ refers to the assistance given to anyone suffering a sudden injury or illness. Its main goals are to preserve life and prevent the condition from worsening.
It is not always performed by medical personnel. In emergency situations, ordinary people often have to perform first aid to save someone’s life.
First aid does not necessarily require any prior knowledge and can involve improvisation.
However, if the person performing first aid doesn’t know what he or she if doing, then he or she might hurt instead of helping.
That is why the IFRC encourages people to undergo basic first aid training or at least educate themselves using any available reliable sources.
World First Aid Day aims at raising awareness on how first aid can prevent injuries and save lives in everyday situations, as well as at promoting the accessibility of first aid.
Events and activities held on this day focus on first aid training.
Every year, a new global theme for the day is chosen, and participants are encouraged to plan events according to the current year’s theme.
In PNG, the indecisiveness of bystanders and wastage of precious time can seriously endanger the victim’s life and drastically reduce his chances of survival.
After an accident, if life-saving measures are immediately applied to the victim, he oir she stands a greater chance of survival and also a reduction in the adverse consequences of their injuries.
The victim needs to be stabilised before the arrival of emergency medical help
If there is a road crash, you may be the first player on the scene. Even in places where emergency services are highly equipped and responsive, experts say the average response time for ambulances is 10 minutes. Learning first aid is quick, fun and could be the difference between life and death for a loved one or a stranger.
Schools should be encouraged to provide students with basic first aid training that can help to reduce risk and empower them with the ability to assess and manage the situation in the event of a medical emergency. This can be done through engaging the services organisations like the Red Cross and St Johns.
Teachers and students with good knowledge of first aid are likely to be more alert and active. First aid promotes the sense of safety. It makes them capable of managing incidents and assessing casualties.
The more they are aware of the accident, illness and treatment, the more they can help.
They can then apply what they have learnt when situations arise, either in school or out in public.

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