Launch of Cochrane First Aid

CFA aims to be a global, independent network of people interested in producing, disseminating and implementing high-quality research evidence within the field of first aid.

Cochrane is delighted to announce the official launch of Cochrane First Aid.

Cochrane First Aid (CFA) is one of 12 thematic areas called Cochrane Fields. Cochrane First Aid aims to be a global, independent network of people interested in producing, disseminating and implementing high-quality research evidence within the field of first aid.

The new Field will advocate and promote the use of evidence in first aid. First aid is defined by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as the “immediate assistance provided to a sick or injured person until professional help arrives. The first aid provider should be understood as a layperson with basic first aid knowledge and skills”. According to the First Aid Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, first aid interventions aim to “preserve life, alleviate suffering, prevent further illness or injury and promote recovery”.

Cochrane First Aid is led by Professor Emmy De Buck, PhD, and coordinated by Bert Avau, PhD, Vere Borra, PhD, and Anne-Catherine Vanhove, PhD, all researchers at Cochrane First Aid headquarters located at the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP), a subsidiary of Belgian Red Cross in Mechelen, Belgium.

Belgian Red Cross is a pioneer in the development of evidence-based first aid guidelines and has been active in this domain for well over a decade. Evidence collected by CEBaP for these guidelines showed that there are still ample opportunities for Cochrane to address topics relevant for a lay setting with high-quality reviews. Considering the range of Cochrane Review Groups and Networks with relevant connections to first aid and the need for increased knowledge transfer and advocacy for first aid, CEBaP and Belgian Red Cross decided to initiate the establishment of the Cochrane First Aid Field in 2018. The Global First Aid Reference Centre of the IFRC is a collaborating centre of Cochrane First Aid.

Cochrane First Aid will form the link between the major players in the field of first aid and Cochrane as the world’s major evidence-synthesizing organization. Cochrane First Aid aims to become the go-to resource for high-quality, first aid-related systematic reviews providing people with the best available, usable evidence to help in decision-making.

Cochrane First Aid is part of Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Cochrane works with collaborators from more than 140 countries to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Cochrane’s work is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

 Director, Emmy De Buck, says this is an exciting opportunity: “The launch of Cochrane First Aid will expand the scope of evidence in first aid practices and policy by reaching laypeople as healthcare providers, not just as consumers of care. We envision that our work will be able to translate the practical needs that exist within first aid so that research priorities can be addressed by high-quality Cochrane reviews. We also aim to disseminate existing first aid-related Cochrane evidence to broader audiences in a variety of forms.


Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson, warmly welcomed today’s news, “I am delighted we are announcing this launch. The unique focus of Cochrane First Aid on laypeople as the providers of care was until now not represented within Cochrane Groups. By working closely together I am very confident that we will deepen and expand the scope, reach and impact of Cochrane activities on health and healthcare decision making across the world.”

Tuesday, April 30, 2019