26 November 2018

First Aid techniques for an emergency

Ahead of our first aid training sessions this week, our medical negligence team have put together some first aid techniques that everyone should know in case of a medical emergency.

Recovery Position

If someone is unresponsive but breathing normally, call 999 and put them in the recovery position. Whilst a person is lying on their back, there is a higher potential of choking, therefore the recovery position involves rolling them onto their side to ensure their airway stays clear and open. See the British Heart Foundation’s recovery position rescue video for a visual guide. If you think someone may have suffered spinal injury, do not move them until the emergency services arrive.


If someone is unconscious and not breathing normally or not breathing at all, it is necessary to carry out CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) – a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. This should be different for adults, children and babies, so take a look at the NHS’ detailed guide to CPR to ensure appropriate use. Call 999 before starting CPR and continue the resuscitation process until you receive professional help or if there are signs of consciousness; signs that a person is regaining consciousness include normal breathing, coughing, speaking or movement such as eyes opening.


If someone is in cardiac arrest, indicated by unconsciousness and irregular or halted breathing, an AED (automated external defibrillator) can be used to create an electric shock and encourage the heart into a normal rhythm. Defibrillators are found in public spaces, such as train stations and shopping centres, and stored in green casing. Though ambulances have defibrillators on board, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone's chance of survival by 10%. If possible, send someone to find a defibrillator whilst you practise CPR. Don’t be afraid to use one and find out how with St John Ambulance’s defibrillator training video.

Today, there are medical apps that can improve your confidence with these processes. Here are some of our recommended smartphone apps that could help save a life.

On Thursday 29th November we are running two first aid sessions for staff, at 12pm and 1pm. Training will cover basic first aid techniques with baby, toddler and adult mannequins.

Related news

Back to top