Dutch less willing to give first aid: Red Cross

CPR training
CPR training. Photo: Rama / Wikimedia Commons

An increasing number of Dutch are not willing to provide first aid to strangers on the street, according to a study Kantar Public did on behalf of the Red Cross. The aid organization calls this a "dangerous development", because in the case of serious accidents, the first few minutes can be vital, RTL Nieuws reports.

The study found that 40 percent will not act if they see someone chocking, with burns, severe bleeding or lying unconscious in the street. Only a third will do something in the case of a poisoning. 57 percent of respondents said they would help someone in case of a traffic accident, and 71 percent said they'd help victims of an attack. 

In 2010, when Red Cross performed exactly the same study, those percentages were higher, according to the aid organization. "We do not know exactly how the decrease is to be explained", spokesperson Belinda van der Gaag said to AD. "But we do know that the threshold to help is higher if people do not know what to do."

According to the Red Cross, people can still help, even if they don't know exactly what to do. With many injuries, even a small intervention can make a big difference. For example, putting an unconscious person in the recovery position. Or stemming bleeding can make a huge difference in preventing blood loss. "At the very least, call 112. There are call center operators who can give advice on what is best", Van der Gaag said to AD.

"In remote areas or in emergencies, it can take a long time for emergency services to be in place", the Red Cross said, according to RTL Nieuws. "Especially then, wounded are dependent on bystanders."

On Saturday the Netherlands' Red Cross is . The event will take place using virtual reality glasses on Dam Square in Amsterdam.