World First Aid Day 2019 – Be A First Aid Champion

"The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday" - Baz Luhrmann

While most of us have heard and even appreciated Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen song, not many of us have adequately prepared ourselves to face medical emergencies. As International First Aid Day approaches, let us take a closer look at the need to stay prepared. About a decade ago, researchers in the UK discovered that nearly 150,000 people died annually due to a lack of adequate first aid knowledge. In a highly populated and vast country like India, this number potentially runs into several hundreds of thousands. It is highly likely that we will come across medical emergencies in our day to day life. These may be as simple as suffocation due to blocked airways or more serious cases like a heart attack, or a motor vehicle accident. The presence of a person trained in First Aid could make the difference between life and death in any of these situations.

Be A First Aid Champion

While India happens to be one of the hotspots for medical tourism and has excellent medical facilities, there is indeed an acute dearth of people trained in First Aid. According to a study by Emergency Research and Management Institute (EMRI), Hyderabad, in case of most road accidents in the country, bystanders cause more chaos and harm than help. EMRI has been stressing on the need to train common people like school and college students, roadside vendors, traffic policemen, bus conductors, and rickshaw drivers, to deliver First Aid. We believe, however, that it is the duty of every citizen of the country to learn this essential skill, that every man woman and child must be a First Aid Champion to help out in times of need. First Aid Day on September 14 must not only serve as a reminder of this great need and the gap that currently exists but also compel us to undergo the required training.

First Aid Training – Above and Beyond

First Aid is much more than stepping up to help in accidents. In the past few years, India has witnessed a number of natural disasters like calamitous floods, earthquakes, and landslides, and man-made destruction such as violent protests. Volunteer First Aid rescuers are in high demand. Becoming one is one of the best ways to serve our country and indeed humanity as a whole. The role of a First Aid administrator goes well beyond helping with or without medical aid. It also requires holding hands and reassuring, managing the chaos in an emergency, and going beyond common prejudices and helping fellow men and women. As World First Aid Day 2019 approaches it is time we all take the pledge and train in First Aid.