IN the absence of expert medical assistance and facilities, First Aid can determine the difference between life and death for an injured person.
Knowing Cardiopulmonary Recovery (CPR) is hence very important as it can save lives during an accident or natural disaster.
Basic First Aid knowledge can prevent profuse blood loss and spread of bacteria or infection while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
There are always many who are ready to give First Aid when needed. But others may have good reasons to refrain, especially if they knew they were not properly trained to render such assistance since doing it wrong may only aggravate the victim’s condition.
In the event of an emergency, the most important thing is to not panic but to assist the best one can – with the level of one’s knowledge. This can help prevent loss of lives until help arrives.
Although First Aid is not a full treatment for injury, it can increase the victim’s chances of receiving further help at the hospital and regardless of the nature of emergency – be it fire, drowning or bitten by a poisonous animal – it’s very important to manage the situation calmly.
Thus, basic First Aid knowledge is crucial in helping those in distress without exacerbating their condition.
There is a need for greater awareness of the importance of First Aid so that more people can learn to dispense it.
An inaugural community project themed ‘Kids Save Lives’ was recently organised by Columbia Asia Hospital Miri together with the Emergency and Trauma Department of Miri Hospital and the Miri Red Crescent Society at SK Jalan Bintang (SKJB) Miri.
Taking part in the half-day programme were 27 facilitators from Miri Hospital and the Miri Red Crescent Society and 145 Primary Six students.
According to Dr Aida Esa of Columbia Asia Hospital, the project was aimed at lifting ‘the spirit of the students’ after their Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and exposing them to a life-support experience.
Among the activities were CPR, First Aid and do’s and don’ts when dialing the 999 Emergency Line. The pupils also rode in an ambulance to get a feel what it’s really like inside the hospital emergence vehicle.
Programme coordinator, Dr Noredelina Mohd Noor, who is an emergency medical specialist, thanked McDonalds for providing breakfasts to the participants, Sugarbun for the lunches, Bank Rakyat for the certificates, Andrea Agency of Prudential Insurance for the door gifts and also
“I’m truly thankful to all the sponsors as well as parents and teachers for making the event a success,” she added.
For student Eleya Maisara Mohd Iskandar, the programme was an eye opener, piquing her interest in learning more about the medical field.
Eleya who plans to take up medicine or law, said she learned to wrap an injury, do CPR and got to ride in an ambulance.
Another student Nabil Adam Abdullah said he had learnt more about First Aid through the programme, adding that the facilitators had done a great job explaining the subject to them.
“I believe I can now do CPR if required. We also learned that the Emergency Number 999 is not something to toy with as it is a line installed to help people in need. Prank calls will only waste a lot of time and cause unnecessary problems for the hospitals,” the 12-year-old said.
SKJB headmaster Ahmad Othman applauded the organisers for holding the event, saying knowledge is important and teaching children First Aid at an early age was profoundly beneficial.
“This is a joint effort of the organisers, parents and teachers. Their collaboration is highly appreciated. The programme has opened the minds of the students to the importance of First Aid is and motivated them to go into the medical line,” he said at the closing ceremony, attended by Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong.
Ahmad pointed out that the most important thing for a student – apart from being successful academically – was contributing to society and learning a valuable life-saving skill like First Aid was part of that contribution.
“Once you have learnt this skill, you can save the lives of your family, your friends or anyone in need of emergency help anywhere, anytime while waiting for the medical team arrive.
“You’re the future leaders and having the necessary skills and knowledge will mould you to become a useful person not only to yourself, but also your family, your neighbours and the country.
“Each one of you must know that with the heart to learn, knowledge can be obtained everywhere – not only in the classroom,” he told the students.