Red Cross booklet helps first aiders communicate with casualties

The British Red Cross has developed a manual that uses images and symbols to help first aiders communicate with casualties.

Designed by Widget Software, the communication book is a visual aid to help trained volunteers responding to emergencies to communicate with people with learning disabilities, language barriers and those who have problems hearing or speaking.

There are 2.1 million people in Great Britain registered with a communication disability and 1.9 million people have issues with memory, concentration, or have a learning disability.

The easy-to-use manual will be standard-issue in Red Cross ambulances and allow for professionals to gather information about symptoms and pain levels, which will help with diagnosis and could save lives.

Richard Hankins, head of event first aid and ambulance operations at the British Red Cross, said: ‘In ambulance services you do not know what the need of your next patient will be so, we have to make arrangements for a wide range of needs. This excellent resource means we can engage widely with patients and provide excellent care regardless of communication difficulties.’

It is believed that the resource will help to boost volunteers’ confidence and help them to reassure casualties.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 20 May 2013.