Austrians lack first aid knowledge

80 percent of all Austrians think they can provide first aid but only every seventh person knows what exactly needs to be done after an accident. This is the result of the “Pisa First Aid” survey, in which drivers are tested on their knowledge about first aid.

“Self-assessment outweighs the actual knowledge”, said ÖAMTC director Oliver Schmerold at the presentation of the study yesterday (Tues). The average willingness to help is 66 percent in Europe but only 18 percent of these have the required knowledge.

200 drivers in 14 countries were tested both theoretically and practically by the ÖAMTC and their partner clubs as well as by national Red Cross Societies. Test subjects had to answer ten questions, two of which were practical exercises.

“The three most important tasks of a first aider are securing the scene, calling the emergency services and providing first aid”, explained Michael Opriesnig, Vice General Secretary of the Austrian Red Cross.

“The only thing that can be done wrong in first aid is to do nothing”, experts agree. “The earlier one learns first aid, the lower the fear is that you do something wrong”, said Mr Opriesnig. Experts thus demand that first aid is compulsory to learn in school and compulsory for teachers too.

70 percent of accidents happen either in your free time or at home. It has been compulsory to do a first aid course in order to obtain a driver’s license since 1973. However, a third of people asked said that they had never taken part in such a course. 42 percent of them completed the first aid course more than ten years ago.

Experts recommend refreshing your knowledge regularly so that you can help at any time and feel safe when doing so.