Why is First Aid Important?

First aid is the initial emergency care provided to an injured or unwell victim before the arrival of professional medical assistance. So why is first aid so important and why should you take the time to learn basic first aid skills?

Seconds Count in an Emergency

When a victim suffers a life-threatening medical situation, such as a cardiac arrest, they only have minutes before the brain becomes starved of oxygen. In a cardiac arrest, this occurs after approximately 3 – 4 minutes. 

Call an ambulance is vital, but professional assistance may take some time to reach the victim. Therefore, early effective first aid is vital to keep the victim alive until help arrives. In this situation, performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) will keep oxygenated blood moving around the body, therefore, keeping the brain and vital organs alive. 

Cardiac arrest victims who receive early first aid in the form of bystander CPR are much more likely to live and make a full recovery. 

You can really make a difference to a cardiac arrest victim’s chances by performing CPR – this is why early first aid is so important!

Spotting Life-threatening Medical Conditions

Many people are unaware of the signs and symptoms of life-threatening medical conditions such as a stroke or meningitis. First aid is important to raise awareness of these conditions and how to recognize the warning signs developing in a victim. 

You might not be able to treat the medical condition, but you can call for help early so the victim receives timely advanced medical care.

Accidents are Common

Accidental injury is fast becoming one of the most common causes of death worldwide. Road traffic accidents are now the leading cause of death in young people. Knowing how to act in the first few minutes after a traumatic injury can make a huge difference for the victim. For example, using direct pressure to control bleeding can prevent the victim from going into shock due to severe blood loss (hypovolemic shock).

Our free online first aid courses are a great way to learn basic lifesaving skills. We’d recommend signing up for a practical first aid course in your local area so you can have some hands-on practice of lifesaving first aid techniques. 


John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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