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World First Aid Day – release of "International First Aid and Resuscitation Guidelines 2011"

Survey Findings: Over 50% of Hong Kong People
Inadequate in First Aid Knowledge

Hong Kong Red Cross Promulgates the New "International First Aid and Resuscitation Guidelines 2011" on World First Aid Day and Appeal for First Aid Education for Everyone

The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) reported the findings of a survey on "Public knowledge and Attitude on First Aid" today, which is also the World First Aid Day, and promulgated the new International First Aid and Resuscitation Guidelines 2011.  HKRC is calling for the enhancement of first aid knowledge for Hong Kong people for better preparation in saving lives during emergencies and the dissemination of the spirit of "helping oneself and others".

Survey on "Public Knowledge and Attitude on First Aid"
A survey was conducted by HKRC with assistance from Hong Kong Baptist University's Centre for the Advancement of Social Research in June 2011 to understand the knowledge and attitude of the general public on first aid. A total of 1,003 respondents aged 16 or above were successfully interviewed. The results were summarized as follows:

  1. Public knowledge on first aid was inadequate and fallacious – It was found that respondents could only answered 5 questions correctly out of 10 questions in average; while less than half of the respondents were able to indicate the correct first aid procedures to handle such common accidents like injured by a jellyfish (9.5%), choking (26.6%) and scalds (44%).

    The findings also indicated that many people are using first aid procedures without basis on scientific evidence. Over 15% of the respondents (16.3%) thought to give vinegar for choking patients; near half of the respondents (47%) would apply topical cream or other fallacious means like soy sauce (4.7%) on scalded wound.

  2. Public's attitudes were positive, but inactive, to learn first aid – over 90% of the respondents agreed that it was crucial to learn first aid knowledge in daily life; public education of first aid was essential; and would offer first aid to people in need if they possessed adequate first aid knowledge and skills.

    However, there were also over half of the respondent (55%) opined that it was the responsibility of medical professionals to save life and perform first aid; and 36% of the respondents felt that learning first aid might be difficult and complicated.

Ms Iris CHAN, Head of Health & Care Service of the HKRC reporting the survey findings, said that "The results reflected that there was limited understanding on first aid knowledge by majority of the public, many first aid practices were parroting what other people said. The fallacious first aid measures not only helped little in healing patients, but even endangering their life. Hence, acquiring proper first aid knowledge and skills is essential."

Based on the survey findings, the HKRC advocates first aid education for everyone. HKRC suggests schools to include first aid knowledge as compulsory module in the Liberal Studies curriculum to let students learn first aid from self-help to saving others progressively. Furthermore, the HKRC indicated that most of the first aid techniques used in the past were derived from medical inferences, for continuous enhancement and effectiveness in such life-saving actions we should encourage more scientific evidence-based approaches in first aid practices


International First Aid and Resuscitation Guidelines 2011
Today, the HKRC also promulgated the first international first aid guidelines published by The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) - International First Aid and Resuscitation Guidelines 2011

Dr CHUNG Kin-lai, Vice-Chairman of Training Subcommittee of the HKRC's Health & Care Service Department, who participated in setting up the new guidelines, said "It took three years to establish the guidelines, with experts from different National Red Cross Societies. This is the first time to adopt a scientific evidence-based approach by systematically reviewing scientific literatures and medical research data, and to assess science evidence and ratings on commonly use first aid skills. First aid techniques derived by such approach would therefore be more effective and able to correct some public's fallacious in the past."

Dr LAU Chor-chiu, President of Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine, Dr LAU Fei-lung, Director of Hong Kong Poison Information Center, and Dr Kitty WU, President of Asian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies also elaborated how to implement the new first aid and resuscitation guidelines in Hong Kong by real case illustrations, including Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation, poisoning (including carbon monoxide poisoning and snake bite) and psychological first aid.


World First Aid Day
Since year 2000, The IFRC has introduced the second Saturday of September as the "World First Aid Day". All National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world would organize different mass events in promoting first aid to raise public awareness on the importance of first aid knowledge and skills to save lives in daily life and in case of emergency.

In order to further promote correct first aid knowledge in the community, International First Aid and Resuscitation Guidelines 2011 have been uploaded as above link for public reference. The organization's first aid training materials are also revised based on the new guidelines, including the First Aid Manual with local adaptation which will be published in late September 2011. The HKRC wishes that more Hong Kong people can receive proper first aid education.

Please visit our website for more details or contact First Aid Training Team at 3971 0288.

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