Your medical kit - its a mess!

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Pupers

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May 6, 2021
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Dartmoor
It is unfortunately the world we live in now and like knife law I like to know when I am getting myself in trouble.
Do you have any examples where a lay person, and I include those that hold a FAW, have been sued for administering FA to someone. Certainly not something I have heard of before.
 

Buckshot

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Jan 19, 2004
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Oxford
I'm not aware of a successful case of it in the UK
it's possible someone may have tried to sue but it got dismissed.
or it may have happened in another country with a more litigious outlook.
or it may not have happened at all and the 'risk' is all made up...
 

Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
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Birmingham
Do you have any examples where a lay person, and I include those that hold a FAW, have been sued for administering FA to someone. Certainly not something I have heard of before.
Cattley vs St Johns Ambulance Brigade (1988) - This is the case that provides the legal definition for First Aid providers and negligence.
St Johns Ambulance Brigade were sued for use of Defib at a half marathon in 1998 which they settled.

I'm not aware of a successful case of it in the UK
it's possible someone may have tried to sue but it got dismissed.
or it may have happened in another country with a more litigious outlook.
or it may not have happened at all and the 'risk' is all made up...
The St John's case above I believe is the only successful one in the UK however I cannot find any stats on how many unsuccessful cases have been brought.

Just read a really interesting book about the law of Murder in the UK. Murder, The Biography by Kate Morgan. Really interesting read and it highlights that the law changes based on the next case. For example based on the St John's Defib case you now have to have paramedics at these events.
 

Buckshot

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Jan 19, 2004
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According to this report of the case
it was not successful and the SJA won the case.
It was not settled and no guilt was placed on either SJA or the first aider.

At least i think that's how it reads

On that basis, there has been one attempt to sue which was lost and so there has not been a successful law suit against a first aider ever in the UK
 

Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
1,282
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Birmingham
According to this report of the case
it was not successful and the SJA won the case.
It was not settled and no guilt was placed on either SJA or the first aider.

At least i think that's how it reads
Yes, SJA won the case however it is where the legal definition comes from for how a first aider will be judged in court.
I was looking for court cases, not successful court cases, as it looks like everywhere saying there is not one, the defib case was settled however I have actually seen elsewhere that the SJA won the case.
As I said there does not seem to be any stats of actual cases brought. Only lots of stuff saying there is no successful case which the defib case brings into doubt.
 

Buckshot

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Jan 19, 2004
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Oxford
A case that's settled never went to court therefore was not won/lost.
that's the point of settling.
there is an argument that SJA were not 100% sure they would win, otherwise they might have wanted to allow the court decision. However, there are very few cases that go to court where one side is 100% sure so that's not a very secure argument i think. mostly it's a 'balance of probability'.
they may have won anyway, or maybe not...

in terms of how a first aider will be judged.
the standard of any person is judged in court - a first aider will be no different.
the standard is what the average person would do, or if trained/ expert/ specialist then what the average person with that level of knowledge would do.
The point is, it's not the best of the people but the actions of the average person.
that makes a huge difference.

I don't think that is a problem.
People will be judged in every aspect of life. First aid is no exception, after all, being a first aider is not a 'get out of jail free' card.

BTW, I'm not a lawyer so all this is only my logic with a little bit of Google...
 

Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
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Birmingham
Buckshot, I think they knew they would lose because there was 7 minutes of recording from the Defib of the First Aiders not following the defibs instructions and by settling everyone gets to say a First Aider has never been successful sued.
 

Buckshot

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Jan 19, 2004
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Oxford
OK, i didn't read anything about the recording.

If anyone ignored the instructions for 7 mins they should be told off. First aider or not.
That is not the actions of the average person.
Also, this was a while ago and defibs are much better now and far more people have experience/ training with them.
Not sure you can put too much store on this in today's environment
 

Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
1,282
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Birmingham
OK, i didn't read anything about the recording.
No worries as I said finding this information is hard work.

If anyone ignored the instructions for 7 mins they should be told off. First aider or not.
That is not the actions of the average person.
I cannot work this out at all because when using an automatic defib you do what the machine tells you.

Also, this was a while ago and defibs are much better now and far more people have experience/ training with them.
Apparently this case is the reason for that training as the money from the settlement went to that.

Not sure you can put too much store on this in today's environment.
My stance is if you have the first aid at work qualification or equivalent qualification ie Wilderness First Aid then you should have insurance to protect yourself from legal action as it not about winning the case, it about paying for the lawyer.
We also live in a slightly different world because we now have Corporate Manslaughter which may effect how these cases are dealt with in the future. If I was St Johns I would be terrified of that change in the law.
 

Buckshot

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Jan 19, 2004
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Oxford
I cannot work this out at all because when using an automatic defib you do what the machine tells you.
I remember when the defibs first came out it was possible to shock without VF being recognised.
things of course have changed and it's not now possible to shock unless VF is noted which makes things much, much safer!
My stance is if you have the first aid at work qualification or equivalent qualification ie Wilderness First Aid then you should have insurance to protect yourself from legal action as it not about winning the case, it about paying for the lawyer.
Insurance in general isn't a bad idea i think. of course it's up to the individual to decide on their own level of acceptable risk with regard to this kind of thing. where do you get insurance from?
We also live in a slightly different world because we now have Corporate Manslaughter which may effect how these cases are dealt with in the future. If I was St Johns I would be terrified of that change in the law.
Not sure that corporate manslaughter works in quite that way. as long as SJA train people correctly it has no power how it's pupils use - or don't use, the training.
For corporate manslaughter to be valid SJA would need to be teaching the wrong thing and/ or in a negligent way. not the same as people ignoring the training.
 

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