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Heroes and helpers come in all forms – and some come fresh from a training course.

Proving this, a Lifeways colleague walked out of an Emergency First Aid Training Course, and, until paramedics arrived, ended up performing chest compressions on a member of the public.

In her day job, Judita Oyaluade, a Positive Behaviour Practitioner at Lifeways, assists support workers and people supported by Lifeways to better communicate, and understand behaviours that challenge.

To help supplement her knowledge, Judita completed last month a seven-hour-long Emergency First Aid Training course with the St John Ambulance charity in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

With the training day done, Judita walked to a bus station to go home – before noticing a member of the public needed help.

‘She was in too much pain’

“I noticed a lady sitting on the floor with another younger lady talking to her. At first, I wasn't sure what was happening or what was wrong, so I went to ask them if everything was okay,” recalls Judita.

The lady’s situation was far from okay. The lady started to experience more and more chest pains. An ambulance was called. 

Thinking quickly, Judita instructed the lady to adopt a recommended body position for someone who is experiencing chest pains.

“But the lady was refusing to comply, as she was in too much pain,” said Judita.

Real-life lesson

Judita was fast understanding a real-life lesson: that emergencies and controlled training demonstrations are two very different situations.

“I knew I had to adapt and try to at least encourage the lady to raise her chest from the floor,” says Judita.

The situation began to worsen even further. The ambulance still hadn’t arrived, and the lady lost consciousness.

“I knew from the training the importance of checking the breathing and I started CPR,” says Judita, referring to the practice of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), also known as chest compressions.

As anyone’s who completed First Aid Training knows, performing chest compressions can quickly become an exhausting task.

Helping hands

“Luckily there were few other people helping, and we were swapping providing the CPR,” says Judita.

Thankfully, the bus station also had a defibrillator available, which was brought by a staff member.

“When paramedics arrived, they continued providing medical help and CPR. The lady was then transferred by the ambulance to the hospital,” says Judita.

Judita hasn’t found out what happened next with the lady – but was thankful to have been able to help.

“I know that without the knowledge and skills that I was luckily able to gain during my first aid training, I wouldn’t have been able to provide such support,” says Judita.

Why CPR matters:

According to the British Heart Foundation, the UK sees over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (known as OCHA) a year where emergency medical services attempt to resuscitate the victim.

Yet the time it takes for emergency services to arrive can mean the difference between life and death.

Early CPR can more than double a person’s chances of survival – and buy time needed before paramedics arrive and provide care, according to the University of Warwick. However, many adults are not trained or are not confident in providing CPR.

All 11,000 of Lifeways’ support workers receive basic life support training, which is equivalent to Emergency First Aid Training.


About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.

We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions. 

As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community. 

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