We originally set out to solve the problem of skill fade in first aid for those undertaking expeditions in remote areas.
Our original focus was to produce a rapid method to unlock first aid knowledge to help sailors and adventurers who travel to some of the most remote areas of the world. They are self sufficient people who usually do a lot of preparation and training before they set off, but our experience taught us that; even people who've done extensive training and preparation, struggle to remember what they were taught, because it's not something that they do every day. So when you're thousands of miles from a port or trekking in the Himalaya that can be a bit of a problem.
We soon realised that skill fade is a problem that's common to everybody, even professionals and that the demands of modern life and ever decreasing resources means that, even people who live in cities can't always rely on getting professional help quickly. So we decided to expand our brief to provide sustainable life saving skills for everybody and for lots of common situations.
The step-by-step guides were born out of a need for change
In the UK 140,000 people who could have survived, die every year because there wasn't somebody available who had either the confidence or competence to deliver effective first aid.
Two fundamental flaws with how first aid is taught:
- Until now, a first aiders competence could only ever be guaranteed on the day that they were last assessed and without a lifelong commitment to regular revision and practice, skill fade is rapid.
- First aid is ordinarily taught in a benign classroom environment. Too often, it's not realistic and so doesn’t prepare a first aider for the potentially overwhelming emotional impact of a life and death situation. That doesn't imply that the trainer is in any way lacking in competence. It's just that delivering life-like, realistic training is expensive and resource heavy. So, it’s understandable that first aiders are susceptible to panic, memory block and confidence drain when faced with a real-life situation that’s outside of their normal day-to-day experience.
- When something goes wrong, when the casualty dies or suffers a long term injury, the current first aid system does not provide the first aider or the employer with the peace of mind that everything that could have been done was done.
- We found that; less than 6 months after being certified competent, as many as 63% of first aiders reported lacking confidence in their ability to be able to deal with anything more than minor injuries and CPR, stating that they had rarely or never revised the syllabus and had not had any hands-on practice since qualifying. 47% reported confidence in their capability of which only 2% would agree to being tested in a simulated casualty scenario. (sample of 100 first aiders who had completed a 3 day FAW course within 6 months of the survey delivered by 24 different trainers). After 9 months, the percentage of the sample who reported lacking confidence in their ability to be able to deal with anything more than minor injuries, CPR and choking had risen to 81%.
- Other than in a situation of sudden respiratory or cardiac arrest, the primary purpose of first aid is to prevent deterioration and where possible to improve or stabilise the condition of the casualty. It is therefore essential that a first aider must be able to make a rapid diagnosis and be capable of delivering competent first aid for a broad range of 'time critical' medical emergencies that if left untreated may lead to a deterioration of the casualty’s condition and the need for CPR and/or a loss of life.
- In response, we’ve developed our first practical solution. It radically reduces the need for revision, it dramatically reduces the worry of skill fade or panic induced memory block and it rapidly unlocks knowledge. The system creates focus and delivers instant capability, guiding the first aider step-by-step to confidently carry out the correct life-saving actions for over 40 of the most common medical emergencies. It delivers peace of mind that everything that could have been done, has been done.
- It’s a system that was proven in the most challenging of military environments and we’ve adapted it for civilian use. It does what no App or first aid book can, it delivers instant and comprehensive capability when a first aider needs it most; during a real medical emergency.
Following almost four years of R+D the Step-by-Step Guides were born. Pocket sized, lightweight, waterproof and durable. Easy to use, simple to follow, with the ability to guide the user to make a rapid diagnosis and to be able to competently and correctly carry out life saving actions with confidence and without omission, first-time, every-time. What we've produced is the most advanced and up to date system of it's kind and it will revolutionise training and treatment by unlocking knowledge. And because we're sailors, and over 90% of MAYDAY calls were either medical or mechanical emergencies or indeed navigational errors, we adapted our system to include Marine Diesel Engine emergencies and Navigational challenges.