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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 5 July
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DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
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Tuesday 5 July 2005
First Aid Box

Full programme transcript >>

First Aid

Would you know what to do if someone in a restaurant started choking or a child had an asthma attack?

First aid is no longer the sole responsibility of doctors and the St John Ambulance: we all have a role to play whether we're at a football match or witness a road accident.

Dr Mark Porter reports on how we can be trained to know what to do when we witness a medical incident.

Mark's guest in the studio is Dr Polly Terry, Accident and Emergency Consultant at Warrington Hospital, Cheshire.

She'll be telling Mark how, by gaining basic first aid skills, everyone can help to take the pressure off hospital A&E services, and more importantly, to save lives.

Mental health first aid

A new initiative, recently launched in Scotland, is bringing the principles of first aid to mental as well as physical health.

Caroline Williams meets a group training to be mental health 'first aiders', who are learning to recognise the symptoms of mental illness.

They are being taught to deal with crisis situations, such a person feeling suicidal or suffering a panic attack, and to guide sufferers towards finding professional help, as well as helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. 

Super paramedics

Mark Porter meets Emma Williams, one of a new generation of 'super paramedics'.

These emergency care practitioners treat patients in their homes, prescribe certain drugs and liaise with GPs, physiotherapists and social services.

Super paramedics have been hailed by the Department of Health as one way of easing the burden on conventional ambulance teams - Emma tells Mark how they hope to achieve this.

Baby first aid

First aiders have to make small but significant adjustments when looking after babies and young children.

We visit a first aid course run by the St John ambulance aimed specifically at the parents and guardians of small children.

The students learn how to adapt first aid techniques such as CPR and the Heimlich manoeuvre for infants, as well as how to spot meningitis and other potentially fatal diseases.

First Aid for Kids - CD Rom

A new cd-rom is another way of learning about first aid.

Consultant in Cardiac Intensive Care at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Nick Pigott is passionate about promoting first aid to parents - to give them the skills to tackle everything from seizures to burns. 

Just 1 in 5 parents are thought to have been on a course which could make all the difference in an emergency.

And many of the 2 million children who visit Accident and Emergency Departments every year with common injuries - like burns, cuts and falls - could recover more quickly if they were given appropriate first aid before doctors become involved. 

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