- World First Aid Day is a global observance that is held annually on the second Saturday in September, which happens to be 8th September this year. It was introduced in the year 2000 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and has been celebrated each year ever since
- The theme this year is ‘First Response to Road Crashes’ to focus on the importance of giving first aid to save the lives of people involved in road traffic accidents
World First Aid Day is observed on the second Saturday of every year to raise awareness on how first aid can save lives. This year it is noted on September 8, 2018. The theme this year is “First Response to Road Crashes.”
‘Road accidents now rank as the 9th leading cause of death. The theme for World First Aid Day this year “First Responses to Road Crashes,” aims to raise global awareness on the need for first aid to protect and save lives in road traffic accidents.’
Around 100 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies organize ceremonies and events on this day every year, to raise public awareness on how first aid can save lives in crisis and everyday situations.
According to IFRC, everyone should be able to access first aid – even the most vulnerable; the privilege of getting first aid should be an essential part of a more comprehensive developmental approach.
Facts on Road Crashes
- Injuries that occur due to road accidents claim more than 1.34 million lives every year causing a significant hit on health and development.
- Road accidents are the primary reason for death among young people aged 15 to 29 years.
- Casualties of road crashes mostly die due to anoxia or a lack of supply of oxygen due to a blocked airway.
- Fatality rates of low and middle-income countries are double that of high-income countries. They account for 90 % of road traffic deaths.
- Globally, 2.2 % of all deaths occur due to road traffic accidents.
- Road accidents right now rank as the 9th leading cause of death and are expected to climb up to the 7th position by 2030.
- Low and middle-income countries spend $65 billion annually due to road crashes; this figure exceeds the total amount received in developmental assistance.
- When there is a road crash, even with highly responsive emergency services, ambulances can take around 10 minutes to get to the scene.
What is First Aid?
First aid refers to giving assistance or aid to a person suffering from a sudden injury or illness. The focus should be on preserving life and preventing the progression or worsening of the condition. Medical personnel are not the only people who handle emergency situations. A common person can take on the role and perform first aid to save someone’s life. Do not forget “You do not need a license to save lives.”
First aid involves everything from cardiac emergencies to choking, broken bones and cuts that bleed, and burns. The important rule when a crisis occurs is to stay calm and think about the next step that has to be performed to aid the victim.
The IFRC encourages people to undergo basic first aid training.
World First Aid Day Toolkit
On the occasion of World First Aid Day 2018 and to align with this year’s theme of “First Response to Road Crashes,” the IFRC has a toolkit on their website that consists of an interactive quiz, posters, and learning material on first aid in response to a road crash.
The learning material lists the “Top 10 Prevention / Simple Actions to help avoid a car crash” and the “Top 10 Action / First Aid actions in case of road accident”. The interactive quiz evaluates your behavior on the road.
It is vital that everyone follows simple rules like respecting other people and traffic regulations, fastening seatbelts, wearing helmets and high-visibility protective clothing if motorcycling or bicycling. All these can prevent road crashes.
However, in the case of a road crash, remember these three rules –
- Safety first! For you, the casualty and bystanders
- Call for help and use the advice given
- Provide life-saving measures and psychological support
For more information please visit the IFRC website https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/meetings-and-events/world-first-aid-day-2018/ where there is also a useful first aid learning kit
- World First Aid Day – (https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/meetings-and-events/world-first-aid-day-2018/)