First aid facing special challenges at the moment – photo Australian Red Cross

New research from Australian Red Cross has revealed 82% of Australians are worried they could catch COVID-19 from a first aid emergency that involves performing CPR.

The research also shows that over half of us (57%) are unsure whether we would actually step in to help administer first aid or CPR in an emergency situation, due to fears of contracting COVID-19.

Millennials and Gen Zs (18-34-year-olds) were most convinced they would catch COVID-19 if they administered CPR during the pandemic.

In reality though, the risk of transmission can be minimised with proper hygiene practices, something which is important when administering first aid at any time.

First aid in action – Australian Red Cross

View from the Red Cross

Janie McCullagh, Australian Red Cross Regional Training Lead, said, ‘When faced with an emergency situation, it’s always better to react and do something rather than nothing, as your actions could mean the difference between life and death.

‘Elements of CPR, such as chest compressions, can still be administered during the pandemic with good hygiene practices to help minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19,’ she said.

World First Aid Day

In order to help Aussies feel more confident to deploy first aid skills during the pandemic, Australian Red Cross recently hosted a series of free, COVID-friendly online workshops demonstrating how first aid procedures can be adapted and administered in a way that can help to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Australian Red Cross aims to ensure that not only are Australians equipped with vital first aid knowledge, but also to help make them aware of how to utilise first aid skills effectively with good hygiene practices.

Janie McCullagh said, ‘First aid skills are more important than ever during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With us all spending more time at home, the chances of at-home emergencies are naturally increased.

‘It’s also important to remember that you may be the first on-scene at an emergency, hence why being first aid trained and knowing how to provide a timely response is so vital,’ she said.

Gordon Johnson – Pixabay

Training available

Given the unprecedented times, Ms McCullagh is urging new and experienced first-aiders to update their skills, ‘to ensure they are prepared to help in emergency situations which may arise during the pandemic and beyond.’

You can book first aid training through the Red Cross by ringing 1800 RED CROSS (733 276) or emailing:

Find out more on the Red Cross First Aid website.

First aid facts