Red cross to use virtual reality in first aid courses

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An Oculus provides disabled visitors to the Anne Frank House a virtual tour (Picture: Anne Frank House). An Oculus provides disabled visitors to the Anne Frank House a virtual tour (Picture: Anne Frank House)

The Red Cross in the Netherlands will soon be using virtual reality films in their first aid courses. The aid organization thinks that this will help students better envision an emergency situation so that they can learn how to deal with it, NU.nl reports.

The virtual reality films will first be used during an attempt to break the world record for the largest first aid course on Dam square in Amsterdam on September 9th. The current record stands at 1,795 participants. The Red Cross hopes to get up to 2,500 people.

The VR film will teach participants three important first aid actions - what to do when someone is choking, how to place someone in the recovery position and how to deal with a major injury. Participants will see a 360 degree emergency situation through VR goggles they plug into their phones and then have to decide how to act.

After the world record attempt, this method will be used in regular courses. "In our practical first aid courses we already make use of a lotus, a person who acts as a victim and can imitate in a realistic and professional way. To help students realize better what dealing with such an emergency feels like, we will now also use VR", Nico Zuurmond, head of first aid at Red Cross Netherlands, said on Tuesday. 

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