One of the region’s top trauma surgeons is encouraging the public to learn first aid skills in case they are caught up in a terrorist attack.
Mrs Sharon Scott, consultant surgeon and medical director for surgery at Aintree, is supporting the release of a new app called citizenAID, which has been developed by leading medics and military and security experts.
The free app, which gives a step-by-step guide to saving lives in the event of a shooting, stabbing or bombing, has also been endorsed by the Government’s National Counter Terrorism Security Office.
Mrs Scott was heavily involved in establishing the Cheshire and Merseyside Major Trauma Centre at Aintree, which treats hundreds of the most seriously injured patients from across the region each year.
Mrs Scott said: “We’ve all read reports of how quickly the emergency services have been able to respond to recent attacks but in these situations every second counts. The app shows you how to look after yourself and offers simple, practical advice on how to help others by giving basic emergency medical care until emergency response teams arrive.
“People are understandably worried about the potential of terror attacks and what they should do if the worst happens. By putting the citizenAID app on your phone, you will always have that reliable, expert advice with you.”
The app, which is available to download from the Apple app store, Google Play and the Windows Phone Store, is designed to complement the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ guidance given by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.
The threat level for international terrorism in the UK is currently at ‘severe’, meaning an attack is highly likely.
The creators of the app say it could prove most effective in the immediate aftermath of an attack when emergency services may be primarily concerned with removing a threat, rather than treating victims.
Brigadier Tim Hodgetts CBE, who founded citizenAID, said: “While many people may know how to react to a medical emergency such as a heart attack, a different response is needed after a serious injury from a bomb blast, gunshot or stabbing.
“Quick actions, particularly to stop bleeding through techniques such as applying a tourniquet, will save lives. By giving the public a step-by-step system, we take away the anxiety because the decisions are already made for them. The right decisions, followed in the right order, can save lives.”
- More information about citizenAID is available at citizenaid.org