World First Aid Day: History and relevance in today’s world
First-aid is defined as the medical assistance given to an afflicted person till the time they receivefull medical treatment. Usually it is the initialmedical action taken by a person, either a trained personnel or a non-medical civilian, to prevent the patients’ condition from worsening and give them a better chance of recovery.
World First Aid Day is commemorated every year on 14 September, to spread awareness about the importance of being first-aid prepared in the case of emergencies. Being proactive and taking the appropriate medical step in the crucial moment just after an injury or accident can be the difference between life and death.
World First Aid Day can be charted back to a historical event which occurred in 1859. In June 1859, during the Battle of Solferino in Italy, a businessman from Geneva named Henry Dunant was witness to the petrifying and gruesome scenes of injured people in the war. He gathered local men and women along with the necessary medical supplies and tended to the wounded. Dunant also assisted in establishing temporary medical centers in the area.
He wrote a book on his experiences titled, “A memory of Solferino,” which kindled the establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863. ICRC, till date organize first-aid services around the world while working towards raising consciousness about why one should have first-aid knowledge and how it can have positive consequences for others.
Global and national statistics show that there is an urgent need for people to be first-aid ready. The Guardian reported that approximately 140,000 die every year in circumstances where they could have been saved if the surrounding people were first-aid aware.
A 2019 report stated that in India, around 150,000 die from road accidents every year. What’s important here is that the report adds, the number of deaths could have been less if “police and by-standers” had the “first-aid skills” to take care of the patient till the time the ambulance arrived at the scene.
A report by The Times of India in February 2019 stated that 40% of road accident deathsoccurred due to “excessive loss of blood before” the patients received the appropriate medical assistance. Due to such significant numbers, auto-rickshaw drivers, roadside sellers, policemen are being given first-aid lessons by institutions like the Emergency Research and Management Institute (ERMI)so that they can react accordingly in emergency situations.
Medikabazaar, this World First Aid Day, extends its full support towards the positive measures taken by various international and national institutions towards making people first-aid aware.