Sophie's story: "First aid is an invaluable skill to have"

An office desk and chair

When someone collapsed and started having a seizure at Sophie's office, she remembered what to do from her first aid course and had the confidence to step in and help.

"Everything remained fresh in my mind"

Sophie, a secretariat from London, was sitting at her desk when she heard a loud noise from the desk behind her.

She suspected that a colleague was having a seizure as he collapsed suddenly and was making jerky movements.

Sophie said: "I immediately went over. I felt a bit of adrenaline but everything from my first aid course remained fresh in my mind.

"One of our colleagues told me that he had a seizure while on holiday, but nobody knew if he had regular seizures and he didn't have any medi-alert jewellery on to identify a known condition such as epilepsy.

"I could also see that he had hit his head on a laptop when he fell, so I asked someone to call 999 for the emergency services".

Sophie remembered from her first aid course that she needed to protect the man from injuring himself, so she put coats underneath his head to protect it from the floor.

She said: "He started to come round very slowly. I knew I needed to move him onto his side with his head tilted back to make sure he kept breathing.

"When the paramedics arrived they gave him oxygen. He was then able to walk to the ambulance," Sophie added.

After a few days the man made a full recovery and returned to work.

"First aid training is an invaluable skill to have"

After the incident Sophie realised what she'd done was really worthwhile. She said: "I initially felt anxious, but I also felt confident in the fact that I knew what I was doing.

"I would definitely recommend first aid training as it is an invaluable skill to have – the sooner you can do it, the better."

Sophie did a first aid work course, which give learners the skills and confidence to respond to a range of first aid emergencies they could encounter in the workplace – including how to help someone who is having a seizure.

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© British Red Cross 2019