The Center for Disaster Medicine and Traumatology

National Research Center for Traumatology assigned by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare

HFES 2022 – The presence of blood affecting laypeople performance

Last week the 66th International Annual Meeting of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Wilhelm Brodin, PhD student at Linköping University and KMC, presented his work “The Effect of Presence of Blood on Medical Laypeople’s Ability to Perform First Aid for Massive Bleeding” in the track “Individual Difference in Perfomance”.

There are currently several educational initiatives to teach first aid courses for medical laypeople, such as the Stop the Bleed campaign. Although much research on educational initiatives has been conducted, there are still factors that remain unexplored, such as the potential effects of blood itself on laypeople’s first aid performance and educational experience. This study investigated such potential effects for performance of the first aid techniques tourniquet application and wound packing, in relation to individual differences in disgust sensitivity and medical fear of blood. The results show that the presence of blood will increase the time a medical layperson takes to apply a tourniquet and pack a wound but does not affect the quality of the aid. Additionally, the disgust sensitivity of the medical layperson was found to predict an increase in application time for the wound packing task, but not the tourniquet application task, when blood was present.

All authors: Wilhelm Brodin, Marc Friberg, Carl-Oscar Jonson and Erik Prytz.

From left: Erik Prytz, Kajsa Weibull, Marc Friberg, Wilhelm Brodin and Jonas Herkevall, together representing KMC, Linköping University, VTI (Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute) and FOI (Swedish Defence Research Agency).