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How to perform basic first aid

Accidents do happen when cycling, but the experts at St John Ambulance tell us how best to first respond when out on the road…

Help is at hand

Download the free First Aid for cyclists app from St John Ambulance (www.sja.org.uk). Advice on your phone could make the difference between life and death. The app is full of tips for cyclists, including using your inner tube as a sling and your cycling jacket to stop bleeding.

Be prepared

Make a pocket first aid kit to take on every ride: it can be as essential to getting back in one piece as your puncture repair kit. Sterile bandages and gloves could be crucial if you come off your bike, or you need to help a fellow cyclist with cuts and grazes.

Act fast

If you come across an emergency, make the scene safe as quickly as possible. Use bikes and high-vis jackets to alert traffic and other people to your presence. If the casualty can move, get them off the road as quickly as possible.

Gloves on

Do not remove a cyclist’s gloves if they are supporting injured fingers. Pulling the gloves off could make injuries such as breaks and strains worse. The gloves could also be stemming any bleeding, so removing them could leave wounds that you haven’t even noticed open to infection.

Don’t panic

Keep calm – panicking is the last thing you or your casualty needs if you are to be of any use. Stay as calm as possible, call 999 if the injuries are serious, and use the St John Ambulance app to help you look after your patient.

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