Learn to be COVID-safe saving a life

·2-min read

COVID-19 is giving people pause to pucker up - even to save a life.

Four out of five Australians say they are worried about being infected during a first aid emergency, with more than half saying it would put them off stepping in to help, a survey by the Australian Red Cross has found.

Young people are particularly convinced they will catch the virus if they administer CPR, the 1000-strong survey reported.

But the Australian Red Cross insists there are many ways to reduce the chance of contracting the virus, including: face masks and gloves; washing hands; and doing compression-only CPR when helping an adult patient.

They will share all these tips on Saturday, which is World First Aid Day, both in a free online training session and a TikTok campaign targeting young people which can be viewed at @redcrossau

"In the schoolyard, on the sports field, at home or out with friends, our experience tells us young people are often the first responders in emergency situations," Australian Red Cross spokeswoman Wendy Greenhalf said.

"In the UK, first aid education is part of the school curriculum. Our research shows the vast majority of Australians believe this should be the case here too."

Teaching young people first aid skills gives them confidence to step forward in a serious emergency, she added.

Jonathon Davis, 18, had recently completed his training and was playing cricket when he heard a crash in a nearby street.

He subsequently found a van had hit a motorcyclist, and his training meant he kept his composure and was able to take charge of the situation until an ambulance arrived.

"It was pretty chaotic. There were spills, smashed glass and motors still running. I took a few seconds to take a breath and think about what I had to do," Mr Davis said.

"Having the training behind me ... gave me the confidence to be able to act.

"If I hadn't had the training, I would have been very hesitant and some of the time-critical things that we did may have been a lot slower, or may not have been done at all."

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