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Democratisation of first aid
  1. Emily Oliver
  1. Correspondence to Emily Oliver, First Aid Education, British Red Cross, London EC2Y 9AL, UK; eoliver{at}

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First aid education has traditionally fallen into the gap between emergency medicine and public health. The fact that training happens at scale among members of the public positions it firmly in lay-person territory, and in doing so, inadvertently diminishes its relevance to professional emergency care and prehospital providers. Yet, the medical science first aid uses as its foundation is closely related (in many cases identical) to that which the professionals use.1 Furthermore, that same science has been shown to be interdependent on education and the use of that education by lay people as depicted in the Utstein Formula for Survival2 where multiplicands of medical science, educational efficiency and local implementation are required for survival.

Bánfai and colleagues3 have attempted to enrich the evidence base needed for the ‘educational efficiency’ component of the Utstein formula to explore first aid education with school children. They have focused on children as an effective way to increase the number of trained bystanders and have looked at knowledge and skill development …

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