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First Aid Manual 10th edition

The First Aid Manual is the official guide from the UK leading first aid organisations: St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross and is widely considered as the definitive guide to first aid in the UK.

The 10th edition released in 2014, which replaces the 9th edition which was first released in 2009 and last updated with the new resuscitation protocols in 2011.

With the previous edition there were significant changes to the resuscitation protocols which greatly improves the chance of survival. This edition has less changes to the first aid protocols, but does have some improvements on the layout which make following the steps a little easier.

The first aid manual continues as one of the best guides to first aid, which is suitable for those with only a basic knowledge through to trained first aiders.

Changes to the protocols

I have listed some of the changes below, although it is not comprehensive it provides an overview of the main changes.


There is a small change in the protocol to identify the most serious injury and treat in order of priority rather than moving the patient straight into recovery position.


There are some changes to the positioning of an infant when dealing with choking (now using thigh instead of forearm to support the infant).


More emphasis on dealing with someone that is not breathing and refers to any liquid not just water.

Head injury

This has the most significant changes between the 2011 (9th revised) and 2014 10th editions. The manual still describes concussion and compression, but these are not covered in the same detail as previously. The treatment for a head injury instead focuses on when a head injury is classed as severe rather than trying to determine if it is concussion or compression. This makes it clearer as it could have been a point of confusion with some first aiders.


There are some changes in dealing with pelvic and leg fractures.

Is it worth getting an updated version?

First Aid Manual 10th edition
The first aid manual is still the best general guide to first aid, if you don’t have a copy already or if your copy is the 2009 version or older then it’s a good time to get the new edition.

If you’ve already got the 2011 edition then whilst it’s a good idea to have a recent edition the changes are small and less significant than previous changes to the first aid manual.

The first aid manual 10th edition is available as paperback, but does not appear to be available as an ebook any-more. The previous ebook was DRM locked into Secure Adobe PDF format which restricted how it could be used (why DRM ebooks are bad for end users). A DRM free ebook would be a good format for those wanting to carry the first aid manual with them when they travel, but there doesn’t appear to be any sign of that yet.