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59 % of accident deaths could be saved with first aid


Secretary General, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Abubakar Kende has said 59 per cent of those who died yearly could have been saved, if they had received basic First Aid at accident scene.

Kende, who said the second Saturday in the month of September, every year is World First Aid Day, said statistics showed that globally, in 2018, about 1.2 million people died as a result of injuries in road accidents.

In a statement, he said: “According to estimates by the British Red Cross, as many as 59 per cent of these people could have been saved, if they had received Basic First Aid on the spot. Even in countries with the best emergency services, it can take up to ten minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene and help the patient or victim. This is a crucial, 10-minute window of opportunity to save the victim’s life, and even with the most advanced medical care later in hospital; patients could still lose their lives.


“The crux of the matter is ensuring that injured or sick people get quick and effective pre-hospital care, otherwise known as First Aid treatment before trained medical help arrives. Life saving first aid is simple and could be as easy as putting an unresponsive person, who is breathing on their side and tilting their head back to open their airways.”

Kende added that it could simply be applying pressure to a bleeding wound to help slow down the loss of blood.

“Sadly, this is only done in less than half of most situations, as bystanders typically have no clue of first aid and panic. There is a need for legislation to be passed, mandating ‘a compulsive knowledge of first aid’ for all. Henceforth, it is advised that before a driver’s licence is issued, the applicant must take first aid lessons.

“Indeed, many victims of accidents have ended up suffering severe spinal cord injuries or may have been killed, due to the manner in which they were roughly pulled out of the wreckage of an accident by good Samaritans.”


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