Nearly 25% of mytaxi drivers in Ireland have been the first responder in a medical emergency, with over a quarter of those having to administer first-aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, a new survey by mytaxi has revealed.

The survey also found that 1 in 5 mytaxi drivers have had a passenger experience a medical emergency in their taxi, with as many as 9% of these related to serious heart attacks or severe breathing problems. Nearly a third of mytaxi drivers have also been booked as an alternative to an ambulance, while over 42% have transported a woman in labour to the hospital – with two of the drivers saying they witnessed a woman giving birth in the back of their taxi, the survey showed.

The findings were revealed to mark the launch of a new innovative partnership between mytaxi and award winning online medical platform MediMee, following frequent requests from mytaxi drivers looking for medical guidance to help them as first responders.

The new initiative offers industry-backed training and a supporting app to help mytaxi drivers deal with medical emergencies, and has already seen 40 drivers provided with guidance on how to tackle choking, strokes, effective CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). These drivers have additionally been equipped with the MediMee app which supports effective medical-information management and also helps drivers look after their own health and wellbeing.

In this respect, the mytaxi survey also found that 30% of drivers have experienced a personal medical emergency themselves at some point. The MediMee app will help empower healthcare professionals such as first responders and emergency services the ability to gain access to life-saving information quickly and efficiently.

Speaking at the launch, Bernard Nolan, MediMee, said: “Our partnership with mytaxi and the training provided will give drivers the vital knowledge and confidence to act decisively in a medical emergency. Sudden, unexpected health issues such as heart attacks and cardiac arrests are unfortunately everyday occurrences for the Irish public. When CPR is required in a medical emergency, if performed as soon as possible it can double if not triple a person’s chances of survival*.”

“While taxi drivers of course can never replace fully-qualified medics in these situations, we strongly believe this initiative has the potential to equip drivers with industry-backed training and skills that can allow them to positively contribute to public health. We strongly encourage drivers across Ireland to talk to mytaxi about getting involved – as it may just help them save a passenger’s life someday.”

Joseph Burke, a driver with mytaxi who attended the first workshop, said: “The MediMee introductory training gave me a real grounding in first-aid and how to tackle the typical medical emergencies faced by so many people in Ireland on a daily basis. It supported real understanding for me in the basics around first-aid, CPR, use of a defibrillator and how to deal with choking, severe bleeding and stroke emergencies. I would strongly urge my colleagues to also get involved, as it is very reassuring to now have the basic medical knowledge and skills to tackle a medical emergency with some confidence.”

Fiona Brady, mytaxi Head of Operations, said: “We understand our drivers encounter all sorts of challenging experiences in their day-to-day work – and from our survey and our conversations with them it is clear taxi drivers are highly likely to experience passenger medical emergencies at some point in their careers. mytaxi wants to help drivers develop the tools and skills to act fast and deliver critical and often life-saving first-aid to passengers in emergency medical situations so we are delighted to be launching this partnership with MediMee.”

mytaxi and MediMee are to distribute information and a programme video across an array of digital and social channels to promote the new initiative to drivers, with candidates encouraged to visit for further details on how to participate.

The survey by mytaxi involved 341 respondents and was undertaken in June 2018.

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