Sikh Communities Can Benefit Massively From Improved First Aid

Sikh community may benefit from this community-led ability to lend basic – yet often lifesaving – medical help

Sikh Communities Can Benefit Massively From Improved First Aid

There has been a national emphasis on getting more people trained up in the art of first aid, indicating its importance in the modern world. Most recently, the Department of Homeland Security has opened up a new training scheme aimed at communities and groups across the country, signaling the need for a greater level of first aid ability across the country. For various reasons, the Sikh community may benefit from having this community-led ability to lend basic – yet often lifesaving – medical help. With this help, the community can become healthier.

Heart-saving treatment

An immediate benefit that first-aid training lends is when it comes to heart attacks and related conditions. While these obviously require hospital treatment in the long-term, having the benefit of a defibrillator kit can greatly enhance the chances of long-term recovery. This should be of particular interest to Sikhs. When establishing the chance of impaired heart function, a number of factors must be considered – including social and genetic backgrounds. Punjabi people and their descendants, Sikhs included, are at particular risk: an influential journal published in the CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research established as much through observing Sikh teens. While this enhanced risk will obviously be reduced in non-Punjabi Sikhs, it remains a cultural and social phenomenon that must be given due weight in the planning process for healthcare. This, plus the many other causes of heart disease, make having high-tech equipment like a defibrillator important.

Enhancing the community

There is also much to be gained from expanding the Sikh theory of wholeness across a wider community. This has been exemplified in Bradford, UK, where the Sikh community have used their skills to enhance first-aid training across a wider net. The benefit of this is obvious: a broader and more balanced coalition of people able to provide critical care, but a strengthened community to boot. These skills are really important, and can help families connect in times of need, using the strong community fabric established in Sikh circles, and using them to build new relationships. This also improves the level of first aid ability available in the community, which is important.

A lack of first aid

The Red Cross and related organizations have been very keen to provide more first aid training, and for good reason. According to a 2011 study published by the British Medical Council, first aid skills are significantly deteriorated 90 days after learning. One way to combat this is through having regular practice, for instance on dummies, and additionally by having more people trained in a community to act as a second point of authority for their skills. In a community like that enjoyed by Sikhs, with specific health problems that can be met with first aid skills, this is an invaluable and important principle.

First aid can give your community another point to work around and build greater depths of relationships and friendships. It gives you a real skill that can be invaluable, especially for community members with long-term health conditions. In a time when perhaps not enough have first aid as a skill, it’s a good time to learn and develop.

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