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2 April 2012
We all know Prince Harry is pretty top-notch at polo, but up till now he's kept his first aid skills firmly under his hat.
However, when a fellow player recently went crashing heavily to the ground during a charity polo match in Brazil, the prince immediately leapt off his horse and ran over to provide some textbook first aid help.
Businessman Bash Kazi, who was knocked out cold by the incident, landed on his front and was left lying face down in the damp turf. But the young prince, who has been trained in first aid by the British Red Cross, raced over to gently roll the stricken rider onto his side.
As any first aider knows, carefully putting a casualty on their side (known as the recovery position) enables them to breathe independently. Bash later recalled: “Prince Harry was the first one off his horse, doing the right thing.”
Powerful polo horses charge up and down the playing field at 35 to 40 miles an hour, so crashing into another player and being thrown off is pretty serious stuff. Luckily, the businessman only suffered minor concussion and a subsequent CT scan showed he was fine.
Following the match, Bash caught some replays of the accident on Brazilian TV – and so had the surreal experience of watching the third-in-line to the British throne giving first aid to his own prone form.
Unsurprisingly, he later announced that the prince was 'a fabulous person' and 'such a gentleman'.
Joe Mulligan, the British Red Cross head of first aid said, “Given the prince is a veteran of Afghanistan and an active duty officer in the British Army, he's presumably had good training in basic trauma care – so it's not surprising he knew what to do.
“But his actions do underline a very serious point: when accidents happen, particularly on a sports field, someone needs to have the confidence and skills to step in immediately and help. Simply laying someone on their side so they can breathe properly is good first aid and could save that person's life. We know the public are often misled into believing that first aid is complex and difficult to learn, but learning the basic steps that can save someone's life is easy and something anyone can do,” Joe explained.
The British Red Cross provides Everyday First Aid , a free online resource that features an eclectic mix of videos, real-life scenarios, animations and downloadable content. We have also launched a free smartphone app which features simple, easy-to-understand first aid advice on 18 everyday first aid scenarios, as well as tips on how to prepare for emergencies, from severe winter weather to road traffic accidents.